OBJECTIVE - The aim of this study was to investigate the association between nutrient-based dietary patterns and squamous cell cancers of the head and neck.
METHODS - We used a case-control study which included 548 cases and 548 controls. From these participants, we derived 23 nutrients and they were then submitted to a factorability analysis in order to conduct a principal component factor analysis.
RESULTS - We were able to identify four nutrient-derived patterns. The first pattern (meat-based pattern) was positively associated with squamous cell cancer of the head and neck (OR 2.85, 95 % CI 1.81-4.15), whereas the third pattern (fruit-based) was strongly protective (OR 0.43, 95 % CI 0.27-0.63). The other nutrient patterns were also significantly associated with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma with minor ORs.
CONCLUSION - Both patterns suggest that red meat and fruits are major factors in the etiology of head and neck squamous cell cancer, replicating previous studies in the field.