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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

South Carolina: Study Examines Association Between Dietary Inflammation and Lung Cancer Risk Among Smokers

A team of researchers led by epidemiology and biostatistics and Cancer Prevention and Control Program faculty at the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health have completed a study on the association between increased inflammatory potential of diet and increased risk of lung cancer among smokers in Singapore. The research was led by adjunct assistant professor Dr. Nitin Shivappa and published in the European Journal of Nutrition.

Because diet and inflammation have been suggested to be important risk factors for lung cancer, with this study the researchers examined the ability of the dietary inflammatory index (DII®) (i.e., a diet quality index based on the literature linking foods and nutrients with inflammatory biomarkers) to predict lung cancer in the Singapore Chinese Health Study. Dr. Shivappa and his team analyzed data from more than 60,000 participants, including 1851 lung cancer patients.

They found that the DII was non-significantly associated with risk of lung cancer after adjusting for age, dialect group, sex, interview year, education, body mass index, total calorie intake, physical activity and various smoking variables. In a stratified analysis, they found stronger, statistically significant associations among current smokers and in male ever-smokers.

“A pro-inflammatory diet, as shown by higher DII scores, is associated with an elevated risk of lung cancer among subjects with a history of smoking,” says Dr. Shivappa. “Public health measures should be adopted to promote consumption of a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet to reduce the risk of lung cancer, especially in current and former smokers.”

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