Table_1_Milk Consumption Across Life Periods in Relation to Lower Risk of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma: A Multicentre Case-Control Study.DOCX

Background: The much higher incidence of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) in men suggests sex hormones as a risk factor, and dairy products contain measurable amounts of steroid hormones. Milk consumption has greatly increased in endemic regions of NPC. We investigated the association between NPC and milk consumption across life periods in Hong Kong.

Methods: A multicentre case-control study included 815 histologically confirmed NPC incident cases and 1,502 controls who were frequency-matched on age and sex at five major hospitals in Hong Kong in 2014–2017. Odds ratios (ORs) of NPC (cases vs. controls) for milk consumption at different life periods were estimated by unconditional logistic regression, adjusting for sex, age, socioeconomic status score, smoking and alcohol drinking status, exposure to occupational hazards, family history of cancer, IgA against Epstein-Barr virus viral capsid antigen, and total energy intake.

Results: Compared with abstainers, lower risks of NPC were consistently observed in regular users (consuming ≥5 glasses of milk [fresh and powdered combined] per month) across four life periods of age 6–12 (adjusted OR 0.74, 95% CI 0.54–0.86), 13–18 (0.68, 0.55–0.84), 19–30 (0.68, 0.55–0.84), and 10 years before recruitment (0.72, 0.59–0.87). Long-term average milk consumption of ≤2.5, >2.5, and ≤12.5, >12.5 glasses per month yielded adjusted OR (95% CI) of 1.00 (0.80–1.26), 0.98 (0.81–1.18), 0.95 (0.76–1.18), and 0.55 (0.43–0.70), respectively (all P-values for trend < 0.05).

Conclusion: Consumption of milk across life periods was associated with lower risks of NPC. If confirmed to be causal, this has important implications for dairy product consumption and prevention of NPC.