Patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head or neck They were 93% less likely to die from any cause during the first three years after diagnosis if they ate a healthy diet rich in nutrients that deter chronic disease, researchers found in a recent study.
The study was published in Limits in nutrition last week. Lead author Christian A. Maino Vieytes, is a predoctoral fellow in food sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Vieytes told Inside Precision Medicine“We have demonstrated in previously published workUsing these cohort data, that there were significant associations between dietary intake and survival, recurrence, the presence of dietary impact symptoms 1 year after diagnosis, and serum inflammatory cytokines/biomarkers, among others.”
In this study, he and his co-authors tracked results for 468 patients who were part of the University of Michigan’s Head and Neck Cancer Specialized Program of Research Excellence. The program is a prospective cohort survival study that collects comprehensive data three times a year on patients’ diets and various lifestyle factors, from diagnosis to treatment.
They looked at six different diets and compared the patient results. The diets were selected on the basis of literature search. “The aim was to evaluate adherence to different eating patterns and to explore how diet related to cancer-specific and all-cause mortality,” Vieytes said.
During the period studied, 93 all-cause patient deaths were reported, including 74 cancer deaths.
“When we tested all these indices [related to diets]what we found was that only one of them — the AHEI-2010 — had a very strong relationship with the outcome of all-cause mortality,” Vieytes said. Each 11-point increase in adherence to the AHEI-2010 was associated with a 60% decrease in patients’ risk of death, he said.
Developed by researchers at Harvard TH Chan Medical School as an alternative to federal dietary guidelines, the AHEI-2010 rates a person’s diet quality from 0-110 based on how often they consume 11 categories of healthy and unhealthy foods. Higher scores reflect healthier eating habits, such as consuming five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day and avoiding trans fats and sugary drinks, according to the program’s website.
In addition to the AHEI-2010, the researchers compared the eating habits of patients with the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or the DASH diet; the alternative Mediterranean diet, also called aMED; and three types of low-carb diets, including a general low-carb diet and plans based on consumption of animal and vegetable proteins.
Two of the low-carb diets showed a modest effect on patient death rates. Higher scores on the general and vegetable low-carb indices were associated with 59% and 71% reductions in all-cause mortality, respectively, the researchers found. However, these findings did not meet the threshold for statistical significance.
“We think the AHEI-2010 is more nuanced for calculating all of these food quality indices,” Vieytes said. “It relies on a number of different food components and has a very detailed scale unlike some of the other indicators.” : “AHEI-2010 was also more comprehensive in terms of the number of components it considered in the calculation. There are 11 components for food/nutrient intake that are reflected in the AHEI-2010, while for all other indices fewer components were needed in their calculation.”
The eating habits of the patients with the best survival rates matched the Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010, a measure of nutritional quality that rates foods based on their disease-fighting properties. The plan is associated with a lower risk of chronic disease.