Diet and Other Lifestyle Factors Associated with Prostate Cancer Differ Between the German and Italian Region of Switzerland

In Switzerland, prostate cancer mortality is higher in the German than in the Italian-speaking region. We aimed at exploring the association of living in one of the two regions with lifestyle factors presumably lowering the risk of prostate cancer.

We pooled data from the Swiss Health Survey, conducted every 5 years 1992 - 2012. Information on diet (meat, fish, dairy, fruits and vegetables), alcohol, smoking, physical activity and body mass index were dichotomized into "risky" and "risk-reducing" lifestyle behaviour with respect to prostate cancer. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to assess associations between the German and Italian region of Switzerland and each single lifestyle factor.

Living in the Italian region was associated with "risk-reducing" diet, i.e. with a higher prevalence of low dairy products and meat consumption and high fish consumption (odds ratio [OR] 1.34, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.21 - 1.48; OR 3.31, 95% CI 2.94 - 3.72; OR 1.90, 95% CI 1.71 - 2.12, respectively). However, men in the Italian region were less likely to have low alcohol consumption and regular physical activity than men in the German region (OR 0.43, 95% CI 0.36 - 0.52 and OR 0.77, 95% CI 0.69 - 0.86, respectively).

Prostate cancer risk-reducing dietary behaviour (i.e., less dairy products, less meat and more fish) was more common in the Italian region, whereas other risk-reducing lifestyle behaviours were more common in the German region.

International journal for vitamin and nutrition research. Internationale Zeitschrift fur Vitamin- und Ernahrungsforschung. Journal international de vitaminologie et de nutrition. 2017 Dec 08 [Epub ahead of print]

Aline Richard, David Faeh, Matthias Bopp, Sabine Rohrmann

1 Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI), University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.