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Association of plasma retinol levels with incident cancer risk in Chinese hypertensive adults: a nested case–control study

  • Liling Xie (a1), Yun Song (a2), Tengfei Lin (a2), Huiyuan Guo (a2), Binyan Wang (a3), Genfu Tang (a3), Chengzhang Liu (a4), Weitong Huang (a5), Yan Yang (a6) (a7), Wenhua Ling (a7) (a8), Yan Zhang (a9), Jianping Li (a9), Yong Huo (a9), Xiaobin Wang (a10), Hao Zhang (a2), Xianhui Qin (a1) and Xiping Xu (a1) (a2) (a3)...


We aimed to investigate the association between plasma retinol and incident cancer among Chinese hypertensive adults. We conducted a nested case–control study, including 231 patients with incident cancer and 231 matched controls during a median 4·5-year follow-up of the China Stroke Primary Prevention Trial. There was a significant, inverse association between retinol levels and digestive system cancer (per 10 μg/dl increases: OR 0·79; 95 % CI 0·69, 0·91). When compared with participants in the first quartile of retinol (< 52·3 μg/dl), a significantly lower cancer risk was found in participants in quartile 2–4 ( ≥ 52·3 μg/dl: OR 0·31; 95 % CI 0·13, 0·71). However, there was a U-shaped association between retinol levels and non-digestive system cancers where the risk of cancers decreased (although not significantly) with each increment of plasma retinol (per 10 μg/dl increases: OR 0·89; 95 % CI 0·60, 1·31) in participants with retinol < 68·2 μg/dl, and then increased significantly with retinol (per 10 μg/dl increase: OR 1·65; 95 % CI 1·12, 2·44) in participants with retinol ≥ 68·2 μg/dl. In conclusion, there was a significant inverse dose–response association between plasma retinol and the risk of digestive system cancers. However, a U-shaped association was observed between plasma retinol and the risk of non-digestive cancers (with a turning point approximately 68·2 μg/dl).


Corresponding author

*Corresponding authors: X. Xu, email or X. Qin, email or H. Zhang email


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