May 24, 2023

Diabetes risk reduction diet and ovarian cancer risk: an Italian case-control study

G Esposito et al, 2023. Diabetes risk reduction diet and ovarian cancer risk: an Italian case-control study, Cancer Causes and Control.


Purpose: To investigate the relation between a diabetes risk reduction diet (DRRD) and ovarian cancer.

Methods: We used data from a multicentric case-control study conducted in Italy, including 1031 incident ovarian cancer cases and 2411 controls admitted to hospital centres for acute non-malignant disease. Subjects’ diet prior to hospital admission was collected using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Adherence to the DRRD was measured using a score based on 8 dietary components, giving higher scores for greater intakes of cereal fiber, coffee, fruit, nuts, higher polyunsaturated to saturated fatty acids ratio, lower glycemic index of diet, and lower intakes of red/processed meat, and sweetened beverages/and fruit juices. Higher scores indicated greater adherence to the DRRD. Multiple logistic regression models were fitted to calculate the odds ratios (OR) of ovarian cancer and the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI) for approximate quartiles of the DRRD score.

Results: The DRRD score was inversely related to ovarian cancer, with an OR of 0.76 (95%CI: 0.60-0.95) for the highest versus the lowest quartile of the score (p for trend = 0.022). The exclusion of women with diabetes did not change the results (OR = 0.75, 95%CI: 0.59-0.95). Inverse associations were observed in strata of age, education, parity, menopausal status, and family history of ovarian/breast cancer.

Conclusion: Higher adherence to a diet aimed at reducing the risk of diabetes was inversely associated with ovarian cancer. Further evidence from prospective investigations will be useful to support our findings.

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