Food intake and risk of basal cell carcinoma in an 11-year prospective study of Australian adults

van der Pols, J.C., Hughes, M.C.B., Ibiebele, T.I., Marks, G.C. and Green, A.C. (2011) Food intake and risk of basal cell carcinoma in an 11-year prospective study of Australian adults. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 65 1: 39-46. doi:10.1038/ejcn.2010.229

Author van der Pols, J.C.
Hughes, M.C.B.
Ibiebele, T.I.
Marks, G.C.
Green, A.C.
Title Food intake and risk of basal cell carcinoma in an 11-year prospective study of Australian adults
Journal name European Journal of Clinical Nutrition   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0954-3007
Publication date 2011-01
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1038/ejcn.2010.229
Volume 65
Issue 1
Start page 39
End page 46
Total pages 8
Place of publication London, England
Publisher Nature Publishing
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Experimental studies suggest that dietary factors may influence skin cancer risk, but there have been few human studies of diet and basal cell carcinoma (BCC), the most common type of skin cancer. The objective was to prospectively investigate the association between food intake and incidence of BCC skin cancers.


At baseline in 1992, 1056 adults in a subtropical Australian community completed a validated food-frequency questionnaire from which we estimated the intake of 15 food groups, selected based on hypothesized associations in the literature. Between 1992 and 2002, incident, histologically confirmed BCCs were recorded in terms of number of persons newly affected by BCC, as well as BCC tumor counts.

Intakes of the food groups were not associated with the incidence of persons affected by BCC. However, there was a borderline positive association between intake of eggs and incidence of BCC tumors (highest vs lowest tertile adjusted relative risk (RR) 1.5; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.0-2.2; P for trend0.06). A borderline inverse association with potato intake (highest vs lowest tertile RR 0.7; 95% CI: 0.4-1.0, P for trend0.06) disappeared after exclusion of three subjects with more than 10 BCCs.

Despite some suggestive evidence that egg and potato consumption may be associated with BCC tumor incidence, there are no plausible grounds for considering these as truly causal rather than chance associations. This study provides little evidence for a role of food intake in BCC prevention. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.
Keyword Basal cell carcinoma
Skin neoplasms
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online 3 November, 2010.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
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Created: Tue, 15 Feb 2011, 15:32:48 EST by Geraldine Fitzgerald on behalf of School of Public Health