August 10, 2017
2 min read

Replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats reduces lung cancer risk

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Danxia Yu
Danxia Yu

Patients who replaced saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats in their diets lower risk for lung cancer, according to findings from a pooled analysis.

“Although cigarette smoking is the dominant risk factor for lung cancer, other factors, such as dietary fat, have been suggested to play a role in the development of lung cancer,” Danxia Yu, PhD, of the Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center, Nashville, told HemOnc Today. “Findings from epidemiologic studies have been inconsistent. We established a large, international cohort consortium and examined the associations of total and specific types of dietary fat (saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fat) with lung cancer risk.”

The researchers conducted a pooled analysis of 10 prospective cohort studies performed in the U, Asia and Europe. Yu and colleagues used Cox regression analyses to estimate each cohort’s hazard ratios, and excluded the first 2 years of follow-up to avoid the influence of any preclinical changes in diet.

18,822 incident cases among 1,445,850 participants. Mean follow-up was 9.4 years.

Greater intake of total and saturated fats were both linked with increased risk for lung cancer (HR = 1.07; 95% CI, 1-1.15 for highest vs. lowest quintile in total fat, HR = 1.14; 95% CI, 1.07-1.22 for saturated fat).

The association between saturated fat and cancer risk greater among than among nonsmokers (HR = 1.23; 95% CI, 1.13-1.35), and also among patients with squamous cell (HR = 1.61; 95% CI, 1.38-1.88) and small cell carcinoma (1.4; 95% CI, 1.17-1.67).

olyunsaturated fats a decreased risk for lung cancer (HR = 0.92; 95% CI, 0.87-0.98 for highest vs. lowest quintile). Substituting 5% of energy intake with polyunsaturated fat instead of saturated fat associated with 16% to 17% decreased risk for small cell and squamous cell carcinoma. Monounsaturated fat did not demonstrate any associations.

“This study is to date the largest prospective investigation on this topic and includes diverse populations of whites, blacks and Asians from the United States, Europe and Asia. Our findings suggest that a high intake of saturated fat while a low intake of polyunsaturated fat are associated with an increased risk lung cancer,” Yu said. “Replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat, especially among smokers and recent quitters, may present a modifiable dietary approach to the prevention of not only cardiovascular disease but also lung cancer.” – by Andy Polhamus

Disclosure : Yu reports no relevant financial disclosures.