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Respiratory Medicine

Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Risk of Lung Cancer in Male Smokers: A Nested Case-Control Study
Published: Friday, June 10, 2011
Author: Stephanie J. Weinstein et al.

by Stephanie J. Weinstein, Kai Yu, Ronald L. Horst, Dominick Parisi, Jarmo Virtamo, Demetrius Albanes


A role for vitamin D in cancer risk reduction has been hypothesized, but few data exist for lung cancer. We investigated the relationship between vitamin D status, using circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], and lung cancer risk in a nested case-control study within the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study of Finnish male smokers.


Lung cancer cases (n?=?500) were randomly selected based on month of blood collection, and 500 controls were matched to them based on age and blood collection date. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using multivariate-adjusted conditional logistic regression. To account for seasonal variation in 25(OH)D concentrations, season-specific and season-standardized quintiles of 25(OH)D were examined, and models were also stratified on season of blood collection (darker season?=?November–April and sunnier season?=?May–October). Pre-determined, clinically-defined cutpoints for 25(OH)D and 25(OH)D as a continuous measure were also examined.


Overall, 25(OH)D was not associated with lung cancer. Risks were 1.08 (95% CI 0.67–1.75) and 0.83 (95% CI 0.53–1.31) in the highest vs. lowest season-specific and season-standardized quintiles of 25(OH)D, respectively, and 0.91 (95% CI 0.48–1.72) for the =75 vs. <25 nmol/L clinical categories. Inverse associations were, however, suggested for subjects with blood collections from November–April, with ORs of 0.77 (95% CI 0.41–1.45, p-trend?=?0.05) and 0.65 (95% CI 0.37–1.14, p-trend?=?0.07) in the highest vs. lowest season-specific and season-standardized quintiles of 25(OH)D, respectively, and 0.61 (95% CI 0.24–1.52, p-trend?=?0.01) for =75 vs. <25 nmol/L. We also found 11% lower risk for a 10 nmol/L increase in 25(OH)D in the darker season based on the continuous measure (OR?=?0.89, 95% CI 0.81–0.98, p?=?0.02).


In this prospective study of male smokers, circulating 25(OH)D was not associated with lung cancer risk overall, although inverse associations were suggested among those whose blood was drawn during darker months.