Legume intake and risk of prostate cancer: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies

Jie Li _ and Qi-Qi Mao

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:44776-44784. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.16794

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Jie Li1 and Qi-Qi Mao2

1Department of Urology, Lishui Central Hospital, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University, Lishui, 323000, Zhejiang, China

2Department of Urology, First Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310003, Zhejiang, China

Correspondence to:

Jie Li, email: [email protected]

Keywords: legume, prostatic neoplasm, meta-analysis, epidemiology

Received: February 21, 2017     Accepted: March 21, 2017     Published: April 03, 2017


Previous studies regarding the relationship between legume intake and risk of prostate cancer have reported inconsistent results. We conducted a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies to summarize evidence on this association. A systematic literature search of articles published through June 2016 was performed using PubMed and Web of Science databases. The combined relative risk (RR) with its 95% confidence interval (CI) for the highest versus the lowest intake of legumes was calculated with a random-effects model. Dose-response meta-analysis was also performed for the studies that provided at least three levels of legume consumption. Ten articles (eight cohorts) reporting 281,034 individuals and 10,234 incident cases were identified. The individuals with high consumption of legumes compared with the reference group experienced a significantly reduced risk for developing prostate cancer (RR: 0.85 [95% CI 0.75−0.96], P = 0.010). Moderate heterogeneity of RRs was observed across these studies (P = 0.064 for heterogeneity, I2 = 45.8 %). Dose-response meta-analysis indicated that the risk of prostate cancer reduced by 3.7% (95% CI 1.5%−5.8%) for each 20 grams per day increment of legume intake. In conclusion, the results from this meta-analysis suggest that a high intake of legumes is associated with a low incidence of prostate cancer.

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