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Can Dietary Tomato Intake Influence the Risk of Bladder Cancer?

By: Vanessa A. Carter, BS
Posted: Thursday, August 19, 2021

Due to previous inconsistent studies regarding the relationship between tomato/lycopene intake or serum lycopene and bladder cancer risk, Hongzhou Meng, MD, of The First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, China, and colleagues conducted a study to analyze this association further. With their results published in the journal Aging, these investigators found no correlation between these two factors, although they suggest that larger studies be pursued.

A total of 101,683 patients from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer (PLCO) study were included in this analysis. Participants were offered a baseline questionnaire to self-report their demographics and medical history. The dietary history questionnaire was used to gather patients’ frequency and portion size of 124 food items and supplements used in the past year; included in this dietary history was their daily intake of tomatoes, tomato products, and lycopene.

After a median follow-up of 12.5 years, a total of 774 incident bladder cancer cases were recorded. “Compared to participants who had the largest consumption of raw tomatoes (ie, ≥ 32.64 g/day), participants with the smallest raw tomato intake (ie, ≤ 3.57 g/day) had lower body mass index, consumed less total energy, and were more likely to be male, Black non-Hispanic or Hispanic, not married, and current smokers and tended to have an education level of below college,” the study authors reported. Multivariate analysis identified no statistically significant correlation between bladder cancer incidence and eating tomatoes or cancer incidence and lycopene consumption.

Sensitivity analysis revealed almost no change in findings, even after excluding patients diagnosed with cancer within the first 2 years of follow-up. After dividing the data into high- and low-intake groups, no significant associations were observed for any tomato type or lycopene consumption. In addition, also no association was identified between the risk of bladder cancer and intake of tomato catsup, tomato salsa, and tomato juice (all P for trend > .05).

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.



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