Whether dietary β-carotene and vitamin A intake protect against lung cancer risk is not clear. Therefore, we performed this meta-analysis to investigate the association between them. The related articles were searched using the databases PubMed and the Web of Knowledge up to May 2015. We used the random-effect model to estimate the relative risk (RR) and their 95% CI. Small-study effect was assessed using Egger’s test. In total, 19 studies comprising 10,261 lung cancer cases met the inclusion criteria. The pooled RR and their 95% CI was 0.855 (0.739–0.989) for higher category of dietary vitamin A intake and lung cancer risk, especially among Asian populations and in the cohort studies. Evidence from 18 studies suggested that higher category of dietary β-carotene intake could reduce lung cancer risk (0.768 (0.675–0.874)).The associations were also significant in American and Asian populations. In conclusions, higher category of dietary β-carotene and vitamin A intakes could reduce the risk of lung cancer. However, the dose-response analysis was not performed due to the limited data in each individual study. Due to this limitation, further studies with detailed dose, cases and person-years for β-carotene and vitamin A of each category are wanted to assess this dose-response association.
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