Calcium Intake and Lung Cancer Risk: A Pooled Analysis of 12 Prospective Cohort Studies

Yumie Takata, Jae Jeong Yang, Danxia Yu, Stephanie A. Smith-Warner, William J. Blot, Emily White, Kimberly Robien, Anna Prizment, Kana Wu, Norie Sawada, Qing Lan, Yikyung Park, Yu Tang Gao, Qiuyin Cai, Mingyang Song, Xuehong Zhang, Kathy Pan, Antonio Agudo, Salvatore Panico, Linda M. LiaoShoichiro Tsugane, Rowan T. Chlebowski, Therese Haugdahl Nøst, Matthias B. Schulze, Mattias Johannson, Wei Zheng, Xiao Ou Shu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Previous studies on calcium intake and lung cancer risk reported inconsistent associations, possibly due to the differences in intake amounts and contributing sources of calcium and smoking prevalence. Objectives: We investigated the associations of lung cancer risk with intake of calcium from foods and/or supplements and major calcium-rich foods in 12 studies. Methods: Data from 12 prospective cohort studies conducted in the United States, Europe, and Asia were pooled and harmonized. We applied the DRI to categorize calcium intake based on the recommendations and quintile distribution to categorize calcium-rich food intake. We ran multivariable Cox regression by each cohort and pooled risk estimates to compute overall HR (95% CI). Results: Among 1,624,244 adult men and women, 21,513 incident lung cancer cases were ascertained during a mean follow-up of 9.9 y. Overall, the dietary calcium intake was not significantly associated with lung cancer risk; the HRs (95% CI) were 1.08 (0.98–1.18) for higher (>1.5 RDA) and 1.01 (0.95–1.07) for lower intake (<0.5 RDA) comparing with recommended intake (EAR to RDA). Milk and soy food intake were positively or inversely associated with lung cancer risk [HR (95% CI) = 1.07 (1.02–1.12) and 0.92 (0.84–1.00)], respectively. The positive association with milk intake was significant only in European and North American studies (P-interaction for region = 0.04). No significant association was observed for calcium supplements. Conclusions: In this largest prospective investigation, overall, calcium intake was not associated with risk of lung cancer, but milk intake was associated with a higher risk. Our findings underscore the importance of considering food sources of calcium in studies of calcium intake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2051-2060
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023


  • calcium
  • dairy products
  • diet
  • lung cancer
  • milk
  • pooled analysis
  • prospective studies
  • soy products
  • supplements

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


Dive into the research topics of 'Calcium Intake and Lung Cancer Risk: A Pooled Analysis of 12 Prospective Cohort Studies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this