Nutrient-based dietary patterns and nasopharyngeal cancer: Evidence from an exploratory factor analysis

V. Edefonti, F. Nicolussi, J. Polesel, F. Bravi, C. Bosetti, W. Garavello, C. La Vecchia, E. Bidoli, A. Decarli, D. Serraino, S. Calza, M. Ferraroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background:To our knowledge, no study assessed the association between dietary patterns and nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) in low-incidence areas.Methods:We examined this association in a hospital-based case-control study carried out in Italy between 1992 and 2008, including 198 incident NPC cases and 594 controls. A posteriori dietary patterns were identified through principal component factor analysis performed on 28 nutrients and minerals derived from a 78-item food-frequency questionnaire. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using unconditional multiple logistic regression models on tertiles of factor scores.Results:We identified five dietary patterns named Animal products, Starch-rich, Vitamins and fibre, Animal unsaturated fatty acids (AUFAs), and Vegetable unsaturated fatty acids (VUFAs). The Animal product (OR=2.62, 95% CI=1.67-4.13, for the highest vs lowest score tertile), Starch-rich (OR=2.05, 95% CI=1.27-3.33), and VUFA (OR=1.90, 95% CI=1.22-2.96) patterns were positively associated with NPC. The AUFA pattern showed a positive association of borderline significance, whereas the Vitamins and fibre pattern was nonsignificantly but inversely associated with NPC.Conclusions:These findings suggest that diets rich in animal products, starch, and fats are positively related to NPC risk in this low-incidence country.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446-454
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 3 2015


  • diet; dietary patterns; factor analysis; nutrients; nasopharyngeal cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Medicine(all)


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