Association between rice consumption and risk of cancer incidence in the California Teachers Study

Bladder Cancer

Cancer Causes Control. 2020 Sep 24. doi: 10.1007/s10552-020-01350-9. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: We evaluated the contribution of rice intake, a source of dietary arsenic, to cancer risk in a population of women with likely low arsenic exposure from drinking water and variable rice intake who participated in the California Teachers Study.

METHODS: Rice consumption was categorized into quartiles (< 9.6, 9.7-15.6, 15.7-42.7, and ≥ 42.8 g/day). Multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for incident cancer were estimated comparing rice consumption categories with bladder, breast, kidney, lung, and pancreatic cancer, with progressive adjustment for age, total calories, BMI, race, smoking status, physical activity, and cancer-specific covariates.

RESULTS: The number of breast, lung, pancreatic, bladder, and kidney cancer cases was 7,351; 1,100; 411; 344; and 238, respectively. The adjusted hazard ratios (95% CI) comparing the highest versus lowest rice intake quartiles were 1.07 (1.00-1.15); 0.87 (0.72-1.04); 0.95 (0.66-1.37); 1.11 (0.81-1.52) and 1.07 (0.72-1.59) for breast, lung, pancreatic, bladder, and kidney cancers, respectively. Results were consistent when rice was modeled as a continuous variable and in analyses stratified by smoking status.

CONCLUSION: Rice consumption was not associated with risk of kidney, lung or pancreatic cancer, except maybe a small excess risk for breast cancer and a small non-significant excess risk for bladder cancer, comparing the highest versus lowest quartile of rice intake. Due to lower consumption patterns in this cohort, future studies should involve populations for which rice is a staple food and use of an arsenic biomarker.