Since previous epidemiological studies reported inconsistent associations between dietary vitamin B12 intake and lung cancer risk, more studies are warranted to clarify this association in different populations.
The association between dietary B12 intake and lung cancer risk was examined in the Singapore Chinese Health Study, an ongoing prospective cohort study of 63 257 Singaporean Chinese men and women, 45–74 years of age at enrollment during 1993–1998 and were followed up for incidence of lung cancer for up to 25 years. Dietary vitamin B12 intake was derived from a validated food frequency questionnaire. Cox proportional hazard regression method was used to estimate hazard ratio and 95% confidence interval (CI) of lung cancer associated with dietary vitamin B12 intake with adjustment for multiple potential confounders.
After a mean follow-up of 17.64 years, 2001 study participants developed lung cancer. High levels of vitamin B12 intake were associated with significantly increased risk of lung cancer (Ptrend = 0.03). Compared with the lowest quintile, hazard ratios (95% CIs) of lung cancer for quintile 2, 3, 4, and 5 of vitamin B12 intake were 1.09 (0.95–1.25), 1.11 (0.96–1.28), 1.11 (0.97–1.29) and 1.18 (1.03–1.35), respectively. This positive association was more apparent in men than in women, in adenocarcinoma patients, or in participants with equal or less than 2 years follow-up than those with longer duration of follow-up.
Higher intake of dietary vitamin B12 was associated with increased risk of lung cancer. This highlights the potential harmful effect of vitamin B12 supplementation for lung cancer.