Association of the B-vitamins pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (B6), B12, and folate with lung cancer risk in older men

Terryl J. Hartman, Karen Woodson, Rachael Stolzenberg-Solomon, Jarmo Virtamo, Jacob Selhub, Michael J. Barrett, Demetrius Albanes

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84 Scopus citations


A nested case-control study was conducted within the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study cohort to test for associations between selected B-vitamins (folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12) and incident lung cancer. This trial was conducted in Finland between 1985 and 1993. Serum was analyzed for these nutrients and homocysteine among 300 lung cancer cases and matched controls (1:1). Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were determined in conditional and unconditional (controlling for the matching factors) logistic regression models, after adjusting for body mass index, years of smoking, and number of cigarettes smoked per day. No significant associations were seen between serum folate, vitamin B12, or homocysteine and lung cancer risk. The authors found significantly lower risk of lung cancer among men who had higher serum vitamin B6 levels. Compared with men with the lowest vitamin B6 concentration, men in the fifth quintile had about one half of the risk of lung cancer (odds ratio = 0.51; 95% confidence interval: 0.23, 0.93; p-trend = 0.02). Adjusting for any of the other serum factors (folate, B12, and homocysteine) either alone or jointly did not significantly alter these estimates. This is the first report from a prospectively conducted study to suggest a role for vitamin B6 in lung cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)688-694
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology


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