High-Quality Diet Linked to Lower Mortality in Cancer Survivors

High-quality diet linked to reduced risk of overall and cancer-specific mortality versus poor-quality diet

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WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- For cancer survivors, a high-quality diet is associated with a reduced risk of overall and cancer-specific mortality, according to a study recently published in JNCI: Cancer Spectrum.

Ashish A. Deshmukh, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the University of Florida in Gainesville, and colleagues identified 1,191 participants from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey diagnosed with cancer to examine the correlation between quality of diet, measured using Healthy Eating Index (HEI) scores, and overall and cancer-specific mortality.

There were 607 cancer-specific deaths during a median follow-up of 17.2 years. The researchers found that, compared with a poor-quality diet (lowest-quartile HEI score), a high-quality diet (highest-quartile HEI score) correlated with a reduced risk of overall and cancer-specific mortality (hazard ratios, 0.59 and 0.35, respectively). Reduced cancer-specific mortality (hazard ratio, 0.55) was seen in association with the highest-quartile score for saturated fat intake among individual dietary components.

"Our results highlight the importance of a 'total diet' approach to improving survival among cancer patients," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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