Dietary patterns and the risk of esophageal cancer

F. Bravi, V. Edefonti, G. Randi, W. Garavello, C. La vecchia, M. Ferraroni, R. Talamini, S. Franceschi, A. Decarli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The role of dietary habits on esophageal cancer risk has been rarely considered in terms of dietary patterns. Patients and methods: We analyzed data from an Italian case-control study, including 304 cases with squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus and 743 hospital controls. Dietary habits were evaluated using a food frequency questionnaire. A posteriori dietary patterns were identified through principal component factor analysis performed on 28 selected nutrients. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were obtained from multiple logistic regression models applied on quartiles of factor scores, adjusting for potential confounding variables. Results: We identified five major dietary patterns, named 'animal products and related components', 'vitamins and fiber', 'starch-rich', 'other polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin D', and 'other fats'. The 'animal products and related components' pattern was positively related to esophageal cancer (OR = 1.64, 95% CI:1.06-2.55, for the highest versus the lowest quartile of factor scores category). The 'vitamins and fiber' (OR = 0.50, 95% CI: 0.32-0.78) and the 'other polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin D' (OR = 0.48, 95% CI: 0.31-0.74) were inversely related to esophageal cancer. No significant association was observed for the other patterns. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that a diet rich in foods from animal origin and poor in foods containing vitamins and fiber increase esophageal cancer risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)765-770
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • Diet
  • Dietary patterns
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Factor analysis
  • Nutrients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Hematology


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