Public Health Nutrition

Short communication

Allium vegetables intake and endometrial cancer risk

Carlotta Galeonea1a2 c1, Claudio Pelucchia1, Luigino Dal Masoa3, Eva Negria1, Maurizio Montellaa4, Antonella Zucchettoa3, Renato Talaminia3 and Carlo La Vecchiaa1a2

a1 Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche ‘Mario Negri’, Via La Masa 19, I-20156 Milan, Italy

a2 Istituto di Statistica Medica e Biometria ‘G.A. Maccacaro’, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy

a3 Unità di Epidemiologia e Biostatistica, IRCCS Centro di Riferimento Oncologico di Aviano, Aviano (Pordenone), Italy

a4 Servizio di Epidemiologia, Istituto Tumori ‘Fondazione Pascale’, Naples, Italy


Objective The potential role of allium vegetables on endometrial cancer risk has been scarcely investigated and the results of previous Chinese studies are not easily applicable to Western populations. Therefore, we evaluated the relationship between onion and garlic intake and endometrial cancer, using data from an Italian case–control study.

Setting We analysed data from a multi-centre case–control study of 454 endometrial cancer cases and 908 controls, admitted to the same hospitals for a wide spectrum of acute, non-neoplastic conditions. Information was collected by trained interviewers using a validated and reproducible FFQ. Multivariate odds ratios and 95 % confidence intervals were obtained after allowance for recognized confounding factors.

Results Compared with non-users, the OR of endometrial cancer for successive categories of onion intake were 0·94 (95 % CI 0·72, 1·21) for <2 portions/week and 0·40 (95 % CI 0·22, 0·72) for ≥2 portions/week, with a significant inverse trend in risk (P = 0·01). The OR for an increment of one portion (i.e. 80 g) of onions per week was 0·81 (95 % CI 0·70, 0·95). For garlic, the OR for successive categories of intake were 0·89 (95 % CI 0·68, 1·15) for intermediate use and 0·62 (95 % CI 0·42, 0·92) for high use, with a significant inverse trend in risk (P = 0·02).

Conclusions Our study found a moderate protective role of allium vegetables on the risk of endometrial cancer.

(Received October 29 2007)

(Accepted September 15 2008)


c1 Corresponding author: Email