Nutrition and diet in the etiology of endometrial cancer

C. La Vecchia, A. Decarli, M. Fasoli, A. Gentile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The risk of endometrial cancer in relation to nutrition and frequency of consumption of a few selected dietary items was evaluated in a case-control study of 206 patients with endometrial cancer and 206 control subjects with acute conditions unrelated to any of the established or potential risk factors for endometrial cancer. Obesity was strongly and positively associated with the risk of endometrial cancer, and several conditions related to body weight, such as early menarche, diabetes mellitus, or hypertension were more common in cases. The risk of endometrial cancer was elevated in subjects reporting (on a subjective basis) greater fat (butter, margarine, and oil) intake (relative risk estimate for the higher compared to the lower scores equals 5.65, with 95% confidence interval of 2.76-11.55). Cases reported less frequent intake of green vegetables, fruit, and whole-grain foods: thus, the risk of endometrial cancer appeared inversely related to indices of beta-carotene and fiber intake. Furthermore, cases consumed milk, liver and fish less frequently than controls. No significant difference was noted between cases and controls in the frequency of intake of carrots, meat, eggs, ham, and cheese. Alcohol consumption was somewhat larger among the cases, but this trend in risk was not significant. Dietary information collected in this study probably is too limited and inconsistent to permit analysis of biologic correlates of these findings or discussion of their potential implications in terms of prevention on a public health scale. Nonetheless, the mere existence of differences in reported diet between endometrial cancer cases and controls is of interest, and may warrant further, a more detailed investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1248-1253
Number of pages6
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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