This case-control study in China evaluated the effect of soy food consumption and isoflavones (genistein and daidzein) on the risk of prostate cancer. One hundred and thirty-three cases and 265 age- and residential community-matched controls between the ages of 50 and 89 years were interviewed in person between 1989 and 1992. Usual consumption of soy foods and isoflavones was assessed using a food frequency questionnaire developed in China and a nutrient database developed and validated in Asian-American populations. The age- and total calorie-adjusted odds ratio (OR) of prostate cancer risk comparing the highest tertile of tofu intake to the lowest tertile was 0.58 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.35–0.96]. There were also statistically significant associations comparing the highest quartile of intake of soy foods (OR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.28–0.95) and genistein (OR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.29–0.97) with the lowest quartiles. There was also an indication of a reduced risk associated with intake of daidzein (OR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.31–1.04 for the highest versus lowest quartile). Our results indicate a reduced risk of prostate cancer associated with consumption of soy foods and isoflavones. These findings should be confirmed in longitudinal follow-up studies in populations with varying risk of prostate cancer.
- Received November 25, 2002.
- Revision received March 21, 2003.
- Accepted April 9, 2003.