Dietary Fiber, Whole Grains, and Head and Neck Cancer Prognosis: Findings from a Prospective Cohort Study

Christian A. Maino Vieytes, Alison M. Mondul, Zonggui Li, Katie R. Zarins, Gregory T. Wolf, Laura S. Rozek, Anna Arthur Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


No studies, to date, have examined the relationship between dietary fiber and recurrence or survival after head and neck cancer diagnosis. The aim of this study was to determine whether pretreatment intake of dietary fiber or whole grains predicted recurrence and survival outcomes in newly diagnosed head and neck cancer (HNC) patients. This was a prospective cohort study of 463 participants baring a new head and neck cancer diagnosis who were recruited into the study prior to the initiation of any cancer therapy. Baseline (pre-treatment) dietary and clinical data were measured upon entry into the study cohort. Clinical outcomes were ascertained at annual medical reviews. Cox proportional hazard models were fit to examine the relationships between dietary fiber and whole grain intakes with recurrence and survival. There were 112 recurrence events, 121 deaths, and 77 cancer-related deaths during the study period. Pretreatment dietary fiber intake was inversely associated with risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio (HR): 0.37, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.14-0.95, ptrend = 0.04). No statistically significant associations between whole grains and prognostic outcomes were found. We conclude that higher dietary fiber intake, prior to the initiation of treatment, may prolong survival time, in those with a new HNC diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2304
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 27 2019


  • Cancer
  • Cancer survivors
  • Diet
  • Epidemiology
  • Fruit
  • Nutritional epidemiology
  • Obesity
  • Survivorship
  • Vegetables

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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