The role of antioxidants and vitamin A in ovarian cancer: results from the Women's Health Initiative.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Nutrition and cancer, Volume 60, Issue 6, p.710-9 (2008)


2008, Aged, Antioxidants, Ascorbic Acid, Carotenoids, Center-Authored Paper, Female, Humans, Middle Aged, Nutrition Assessment Core Facility, Ovarian Neoplasms, Prospective Studies, Vitamin A


Antioxidant nutrients and carotenoids have been inconsistently associated with ovarian cancer risk. We examined the relationship between intake of dietary and supplemental antioxidant nutrients including vitamins C, E, and selenium as well as carotenoids and vitamin A and ovarian cancer in 133,614 postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study. Dietary intake was assessed using a food frequency questionnaire, and ovarian cancer endpoints were centrally adjudicated. Cox regression models were used to estimate the risk for invasive ovarian cancer in relation to each of the antioxidant nutrients and carotenoids under consideration using models stratified for a WHI study component. A total of 451 cases of invasive ovarian cancer were diagnosed over 8.3 yr of follow-up. Dietary intake at baseline was not significantly different for cases vs. controls. Cases reported greater intake of supplemental vitamin C (358.0 mg/day vs. 291.6 mg/day, respectively; P = 0.024). Multivariate modeling (P for trend) of the risk for developing ovarian cancer did not suggest any significant relationships among dietary factors and ovarian cancer risk. The results from this prospective study of well-nourished, postmenopausal women suggest that intake of dietary antioxidants, carotenoids, and vitamin A are not associated with a reduction in ovarian cancer risk.