Consumption of vegetables and fruits and risk of ovarian carcinoma

Results from the Netherlands Cohort Study on Diet and Cancer




To the authors' knowledge, only a few prospective studies to date have investigated the correlation between vegetable and fruit consumption and the risk of ovarian carcinoma and their results have been inconclusive.


Vegetable and fruit intake was assessed in relation to ovarian carcinoma, among 62,573 postmenopausal women participating in The Netherlands Cohort Study on Diet and Cancer. Women reported on dietary habits and on other risk factors for cancer in a self-administered questionnaire in 1986. Follow-up of cancer was implemented by annual record linkage with The Netherlands Cancer Registry and a pathology register. After 11.3 years of follow-up, data regarding 252 incident invasive epithelial ovarian carcinoma cases and of 2216 subcohort members were available for case–cohort analyses.


Multivariable-adjusted rate ratios (RR) of ovarian carcinoma for women in the highest compared with the lowest quintile of intake (RRQ5 vs. Q1) were 0.98 (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.61–1.58) for total vegetables and 1.11 (95% CI, 0.70–1.78) for total fruit. The RRQ5 vs. Q1 values of ovarian carcinoma with intake of cooked vegetables, raw vegetables, brassicas, legumes, cooked leafy vegetables, and raw leafy vegetables were 1.35 (95% CI, 0.83–2.21), 0.75 (95% CI, 0.48–1.18), 1.42 (95% CI, 0.88–2.29), 0.93 (95% CI, 0.60–1.44), 1.05 (95% CI, 0.66–1.67), and 1.23 (95% CI, 0.75–2.02), respectively. With the exception of raw endive (multivariable-adjusted RR, 0.24; 95% CI, 0.07–0.78), none of the individual vegetable or fruit items showed a statistically significant association with ovarian carcinoma.


The results of the current study did not support a significant association between vegetable or fruit consumption and ovarian carcinoma risk in a cohort of postmenopausal women. Cancer 2005. © 2005 American Cancer Society.