Background: To assess whether intake of selected foods and food groups and adherence to a Mediterranean diet are associated with lung cancer risk in heavy smokers. Patients and methods: In the context of a lung cancer screening programme, we invited asymptomatic volunteers, aged 50 years or more, current smokers or recent quitters, who had smoked at least 20 pack-years, to undergo annual low-dosecomputed tomography. We assessed participants' diet at baseline using a self-administered food frequency questionnaire and calculated their average daily food intake using an ad hoc computer program anddetermined their alternate Mediterranean diet (aMED) score. We used Cox proportional hazards regression to assess the association between selected food items, beverages and the aMED score and lung cancer risk. Results: During a mean screening period of 5.7 years, 178 of 4336 participants were diagnosedwith lung cancer. At multivariable analysis, red meat consumption was associated with an increased risk of lung cancer [hazard ratio (HR) Q4 versus Q1, 1.73; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.15-2.61; P-value for trend 0.002], while tea consumption (HR for one or more cup/day versus none, 0.56; 95% CI 0.31-0.99; P-value for trend 0.04) and adherence to a Mediterranean diet.
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