Long-term use of β-carotene, retinol, lycopene, and lutein supplements and lung cancer risk: Results from the vitamins and lifestyle (vital) study

Jessie A. Satia, Alyson Littman, Christopher G. Slatore, Joseph A. Galanko, Emily White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Scopus citations

Abstract

High-dose β-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 β-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 β-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 β-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 β-carotene, retinol, and lutein supplements should not be recommended for lung cancer prevention, particularly among smokers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)815-828
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Volume169
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2009

Keywords

  • Beta carotene
  • Carotenoids
  • Cohort studies
  • Dietary supplements
  • Lung neoplasms
  • Randomized controlled trials as topic
  • Vitamins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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