Shivappa, Nitin


Van Guelpen, Bethany


Nilsson, Lena Maria


Document Type



Purpose Inflammation-related mechanisms may contribute to the link between diet and cancer. We sought to investigate the inflammatory impact of diet on cancer risk using the Dietary inflammatory index (DII) and an adapted Mediterranean diet score (MDS).

Methods This population-based, prospective cohort study used self-reported dietary data from the Västerbotten Intervention Programme, including 100,881 participants, of whom 35,393 had repeated measures. Associations between dietary patterns and cancer risk were evaluated using Cox proportional hazards regression. We also used restricted cubic splines to test for potential non-linear associations.

Results A total of 9,250 incident cancer cases were diagnosed during a median follow-up of 15 years. The two dietary patterns were moderately correlated to each other and had similar associations with cancer risk, predominantly lung cancer in men (DII per tertile decrease: Hazard ratio (HR) 0.81 (0.66–0.99), MDS per tertile increase: HR 0.86 (0.72–1.03)), and gastric cancer in men (DII: 0.73 (0.53–0.99), MDS: 0.73 (0.56–0.96)). Associations were, in general, found to be linear. We found no longitudinal association between 10-year change in diet and cancer risk.

Conclusion We confirm small, but consistent and statistically significant associations between a more anti-inflammatory or healthier diet and reduced risk of cancer, including a lower risk of lung and gastric cancer in men. The dietary indexes produced similar associations with respect to the risk of cancer.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



© 2019 Bode´n et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

APA Citation

Bodén, S., Myte, R., Wennberg, M., Harlid, S., Johansson, I., Shivappa, N., Hébert, J. R., Van Guelpen, B., & Nilsson, L. M. (2019). The inflammatory potential of diet in determining cancer risk; A prospective investigation of two dietary pattern scores. PLOS ONE, 14(4), e0214551.