Tobacco, alcohol, body mass index, physical activity, and the risk of head and neck cancer in the prostate, lung, colorectal, and ovarian (PLCO) cohort.

Author(s): Hashibe M,  Hunt J,  Wei M,  Buys S,  Gren L,  Lee YC

Journal: Head Neck

Date: 2013 Jul

Major Program(s) or Research Group(s): EDRG, PLCO

PubMed ID: 22711227

PMC ID: not available

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Estimation of attributable fractions for tobacco and alcohol, and investigation of the association between body mass index (BMI) and head and neck cancer risk have largely been in case-control studies. These aspects and physical activity need to be assessed as possible head and neck cancer risk/protective factors in a cohort study. METHODS: In the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) cancer screening trial, of the 101,182 study subjects, 177 individuals developed head and neck cancer. RESULTS: The proportion of head and neck cancer cases attributed to tobacco and/or alcohol was 66% (50.5% tobacco alone, 14.7% alcohol alone, 0.9% tobacco and alcohol combined). BMI was not associated with head and neck cancer risk, but increasing hours of physical activity per week was associated with a reduced head and neck cancer risk (odds ratio [OR] = 0.58; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.35-0.96). CONCLUSIONS: Cigarette smoking is clearly the most important head and neck cancer risk factor in this population. The reduced cancer risk due to physical activity was consistent with results from a pooled analysis of case-control studies.