Research Papers: Head and Neck CancerAssociation between Mediterranean diet and head and neck cancer: results of a large case–control study in ItalyGiraldi, Lucaa,*; Panic, Nikolaa,*; Cadoni, Gabriellab; Boccia, Stefaniaa; Leoncini, Emanuelea Author Information aSection of Hygiene, Institute of Public Health bInstitute of Otorhinolaryngology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy *Luca Giraldi and Nikola Panic contributed equally to the writing of this article. Correspondence to Stefania Boccia, MSc, DSc, PhD, Section of Hygiene, Institute of Public Health, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario “A. Gemelli”, Largo F. Vito, 1-00168 Rome, Italy Tel: +39 6 30154396/+39 6 35001527; fax: +39 6 35001522; e-mail: [email protected] European Journal of Cancer Prevention: September 2017 - Volume 26 - Issue 5 - p 418-423 doi: 10.1097/CEJ.0000000000000277 Buy Metrics Abstract The Mediterranean diet (MD) is a known protective factor for head and neck cancer (HNC); however, there is still a lack of studies investigating this association by HNC subsite. The aim of the present study was therefore to evaluate the association between adherence to MD and HNC overall and by cancer subsite, as well as the effect of the individual food components on HNC risk. A case–control study was carried out at the Gemelli Hospital of Rome (Italy). A total of 500 HNC cases and 433 controls were interviewed. Dietary intake was assessed through a validated food frequency questionnaire that collected information on over 25 food items. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of HNC were calculated using a multiple logistic regression model. We found a reduced risk of both oral cavity and pharynx cancer (OR=0.61; CI: 0.54–0.70) and larynx cancer (OR=0.64; CI: 0.56–0.73) with increasing adherence to MD. We also found a high consumption of fruit, vegetables, and legumes to be significantly associated with a lower risk of larynx as well as oral cavity and pharynx cancers. Our study showed that adherence to MD acts protectively against HNC overall and by cancer subsite. Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.