Long-term Use of β-Carotene, Retinol, Lycopene, and Lutein Supplements and Lung Cancer Risk: Results From the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) Study

Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.
American journal of epidemiology (Impact Factor: 5.23). 02/2009; 169(7):815-28. DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwn409
Source: PubMed


High-dose beta-carotene supplementation in high-risk persons has been linked to increased lung cancer risk in clinical trials; whether effects are similar in the general population is unclear. The authors examined associations of supplemental beta-carotene, retinol, vitamin A, lutein, and lycopene with lung cancer risk among participants, aged 50-76 years, in the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) cohort Study in Washington State. In 2000-2002, eligible persons (n = 77,126) completed a 24-page baseline questionnaire, including detailed questions about supplement use (duration, frequency, dose) during the previous 10 years from multivitamins and individual supplements/mixtures. Incident lung cancers (n = 521) through December 2005 were identified by linkage to the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results cancer registry. Longer duration of use of individual beta-carotene, retinol, and lutein supplements (but not total 10-year average dose) was associated with statistically significantly elevated risk of total lung cancer and histologic cell types; for example, hazard ratio = 2.02, 95% confidence interval: 1.28, 3.17 for individual supplemental lutein with total lung cancer and hazard ratio = 3.22, 95% confidence interval: 1.29, 8.07 for individual beta-carotene with small-cell lung cancer for >4 years versus no use. There was little evidence for effect modification by gender or smoking status. Long-term use of individual beta-carotene, retinol, and lutein supplements should not be recommended for lung cancer prevention, particularly among smokers.

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