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High spicy food intake may increase the risk of esophageal cancer: a meta-analysis and systematic review


Xie, P and Xi, W and Lowe, S and Zhou, Z and Ding, P and Cheng, C and Bentely, R and Li, Y and Wang, Y and Zhou, Q and Wu, B and Gao, Y and Feng, L and Ma, S and Liu, H and Sun, C, High spicy food intake may increase the risk of esophageal cancer: a meta-analysis and systematic review, Nutrition Research, 107 ISSN 1879-0739 (2022) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2022 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2022.09.006


Spicy food is popular with people around the world. However, reports on the association between spicy food intake and esophageal cancer (EC) risk have been controversial. Therefore, we conducted a meta-analysis of 25 studies to provide the latest evidence for this uncertainty. We hypothesized that high spicy food intake is associated with an increased risk of EC. The database was searched to identify case-control or cohort studies of spicy food intake associated with EC through March 2022. Combined odds ratios (ORs) and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to estimate the effect of spicy food intake on EC. Subgroup analyses and sensitivity analyses were also performed. All data were analyzed using STATA 15.1 software.25 studies from 22 articles met the inclusion criteria for the meta-analysis (7,810 patients with EC and 515,397 controls). Despite significant heterogeneity (p<0.001), the comparison of highest versus lowest spicy food intake in each study showed a significant OR of 1.70 (95% CI 1.302.22). In subgroup analyses, this positive association was found among the Chinese population, different sample sizes of EC, different sources of the control group, and different quality of articles. However, for India, as well as for other countries, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC), no statistically significant association was observed. This meta-analysis suggests that high levels of spicy food intake may be associated with an increased risk of EC, although one prospective study found an inverse association. Additional studies are necessary to confirm the relationship between spicy food and EC risk.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Spicy food; Esophageal; CancerMeta-analysis; Chili pepper
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Oncology and carcinogenesis
Research Field:Predictive and prognostic markers
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Prevention of human diseases and conditions
UTAS Author:Zhou, Z (Dr Zhen Zhou)
ID Code:153559
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2022-09-26
Last Modified:2022-11-17

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