BackgroundSome results from laboratory and epidemiologic studies suggest that diet may influence the risk of melanoma, but convincing evidence for a role of single nutrients or food items is lacking. Diet quality, which considers the combined effect of multiple food items, may be superior for examining this relation.
ObjectiveWe sought to assess whether diet quality, evaluated with the use of 4 different dietary indexes, is associated with melanoma risk.
MethodsIn this population-based case-control study, we analyzed the relation between 4 diet quality indexes, the Healthy Eating Index 2010 (HEI-2010), Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) index, Greek Mediterranean Index (GMI), and Italian Mediterranean Index (IMI), and melanoma risk in a northern Italian community, with the use of data from 380 cases and 719 matched controls who completed a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire.
ResultsIn the overall sample, we found an inverse association between disease risk and the HEI-2010 and DASH index, but not the Mediterranean indexes, adjusting for potential confounders (skin phototype, body mass index, energy intake, sunburn history, skin sun reaction, and education). However, in sex stratified analyses, the association appeared only in women (P-trend: 0.10 and 0.04 for the HEI-2010 and DASH index, respectively). The inverse relations were stronger in women younger than age 50 y than in older women, for whom the GMI and IMI scores also showed an inverse association with disease risk (P-trend: 0.05 and 0.02, respectively).
ConclusionsThese results suggest that diet quality may play a role in cutaneous melanoma etiology among women.