Abstract Title:

Fruit and vegetable intake during pregnancy and risk for development of sporadic retinoblastoma.

Abstract Source:

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005 Jun;14(6):1433-40. PMID: 15941952

Abstract Author(s):

Manuela A Orjuela, Lina Titievsky, Xinhua Liu, Marco Ramirez-Ortiz, Veronica Ponce-Castaneda, Evelia Lecona, Evelyn Molina, Katherine Beaverson, David H Abramson, Nancy E Mueller

Article Affiliation:

Department of Pediatrics, Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, Room B106, 60 Haven Avenue, New York, New York 10032, USA. [email protected]


OBJECTIVE: Little is known about the causes of sporadic (noninherited) retinoblastoma. Rates seem to be somewhat higher among poorer populations in Mexico. Fruits and vegetables are important sources of carotenoids and folate. We examined whether decreased gestational maternal intake of fruits and vegetables may contribute to development of sporadic retinoblastoma.

METHODS: At the Instituto Nacional de Pediatria in Mexico City, we conducted a hospital-based case-control study to evaluate prenatal maternal diet. We examined dietary intake of fruits and vegetables of mothers of 101 children with retinoblastoma and 172 control children using a dietary recall questionnaire and published food nutrient content tables.

RESULTS: The reported number of mean daily servings of fruits and vegetables was lower among case mothers when compared with control mothers [vegetables: 2.28 in controls, 1.75 in cases (P<0.01); fruits: 2.13 in controls, 1.59 in cases (P = 0.07)]. Mean daily maternal folate intake from both vegetables and fruits was higher in controls (103 microg) than in cases (48 microg; P<0.05). Risk for having a child with retinoblastoma was increased for mothers consuming fewer than 2 daily servings of vegetables [odds ratios (OR), 3.4; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 2.0-6.0] or with a low intake of folate (OR, 3.9; 95% CI, 2.1, 7.3), or lutein/zeaxanthin (OR, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.5-4.6) derived from fruits and vegetables.

CONCLUSIONS: Decreased intake of vegetables and fruits during pregnancy and the consequent decreased intake of nutrients such as folate and lutein/zeaxanthin, necessary for DNA methylation, synthesis, and retinal function, may increase risk for having a child with sporadic retinoblastoma.

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