Intake of individual fatty acids and risk of prostate cancer in the European prospective investigation into cancer and nutrition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The associations of individual dietary fatty acids with prostate cancer risk have not been examined comprehensively. We examined the prospective association of individual dietary fatty acids with prostate cancer risk overall, by tumor subtypes, and prostate cancer death. 142,239 men from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition who were free from cancer at recruitment were included. Dietary intakes of individual fatty acids were estimated using center-specific validated dietary questionnaires at baseline and calibrated with 24-h recalls. Multivariable Cox regression models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). After an average follow-up of 13.9 years, 7,036 prostate cancer cases and 936 prostate cancer deaths were ascertained. Intakes of individual fatty acids were not related to overall prostate cancer risk. There was evidence of heterogeneity in the association of some short chain saturated fatty acids with prostate cancer risk by tumor stage (p heterogeneity < 0.015), with a positive association with risk of advanced stage disease for butyric acid (4:0; HR 1SD = 1.08; 95%CI = 1.01–1.15; p-trend = 0.026). There were no associations with fatal prostate cancer, with the exception of a slightly higher risk for those who consumed more eicosenoic acid (22:1n-9c; HR 1SD = 1.05; 1.00–1.11; p-trend = 0.048) and eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3c; HR 1SD = 1.07; 1.00–1.14; p-trend = 0.045). There was no evidence that dietary intakes of individual fatty acids were associated with overall prostate cancer risk. However, a higher intake of butyric acid might be associated with a higher risk of advanced, whereas intakes of eicosenoic and eicosapentaenoic acids might be positively associated with fatal prostate cancer risk.


  • Aurora Perez-Cornago
  • Inge Huybrechts
  • Paul N. Appleby
  • Julie A. Schmidt
  • Francesca L. Crowe
  • Kim Overvad
  • Anne Tjønneland
  • Tilman Kühn
  • Verena Katzke
  • Antonia Trichopoulou
  • Anna Karakatsani
  • Eleni Peppa
  • Sara Grioni
  • Domenico Palli
  • Carlotta Sacerdote
  • Rosario Tumino
  • H. Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita
  • Nerea Larrañaga
  • Maria Jose Sánchez
  • J. Ramón Quirós
  • Eva Ardanaz
  • María Dolores Chirlaque
  • Antonio Agudo
  • Veronique Chajes
  • Konstantinos K. Tsilidis
  • Dagfinn Aune
  • Elio Riboli
  • Ruth C. Travis
  • Timothy J. Key
External organisations
  • University of Oxford
  • International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization
  • University of Birmingham
  • Aarhus University
  • Danish Cancer Society Research Center
  • German Cancer Research Centre
  • Hellenic Health Foundation, Athens
  • National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori
  • Citta' della Salute e della Scienza Hospital-University of Turin
  • Civic and M.P Arezzo Hospital
  • National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)
  • University Medical Center Utrecht
  • Imperial College London
  • University of Malaya
  • University of Granada
  • Public Health Directorate
  • Health Research Institute of Navarra (IDISNA)
  • CIBER Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP)
  • Murcia Regional Health Council
  • University of Murcia
  • Catalan Institute of Oncology
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • University of Ioannina
  • Bjørknes University College
  • Oslo university hospital
  • Institute for Cancer Research, Prevention and Clinical Network (ISPRO)
  • Biodonostia Health Research Institute
  • L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cancer and Oncology


  • individual fatty acids, prospective, prostate cancer, tumor subtypes
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019 Feb 26
Publication categoryResearch