Dietary cholesterol, fat, and lung cancer incidence among older women: The Iowa Women's Health Study (United States)

Ying Wu, Wei Zheng, Thomas A. Sellers, Lawrence H. Kushi, Roberd M. Bostick, John D. Potter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


To test the hypothesis that a high intake of dietary cholesterol and fat is associated with elevated risks of lung cancer, we analyzed data from a population-based, prospective, cohort study conducted among 41,837 postmenopausal Iowa (United States) women who completed, in 1986, a comprehensive mailed questionnaire including information on usual intake of 127 food items. All cohort members were followed for cancer incidence through the statewide cancer registry. By 1991, after six years of follow-up, 272 incident lung-cancer cases were identified. After controlling for total energy intake and other confounding factors, dietary cholesterol, total fat, and animal fat were unrelated to lung cancer risk. Intake in the upper three quartiles of plantderived fat, however, was related to a 30 to 40 percent lower incidence of lung cancer, compared with those in the lowest quartile, with more pronoucned reduction in risk observed among smokers (relative risk=0.6, 95 percent confidence interval=0.4-0.9). This prospective cohort study suggests that high intake of fat of plant origin may be associated with reduced risk of lung cancer, while dietary cholesterol and animal fat intake is unrelated to the etiology of this malignancy in postmenopausal women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-400
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Causes & Control
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Cholesterol
  • cohort study
  • diet
  • fat
  • lung cancer
  • nutrition
  • United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Epidemiology
  • Cancer Research


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