Introduction Mortality rates of prostate cancer show regional variations in Brazil. The heterogeneous dietary profile and the distribution of agricultural practices could, at least partially, explain the observed patterns. This ecological study aimed to identify associations between selected dietary, agricultural variables and mortality rates for prostate cancer in men aged 60 or more in selected Brazilian States.
Methods States selected for study were the main agricultural producers in Brazil. Dietary (characterised as per capita kcal/day consumption of food groups) and agricultural variables were selected in the literature. Agricultural data were obtained from the National Agricultural Census and dietary data from the National Survey by Household Sampling. Multiple linear regression were used to analyse the correlations between mortality rates and the selected variables.
Results Age-adjusted mortality rates varied from 112.79 to 174.92 per 100 000. The final multivariate model was capable of explaining 99.9% of the variation in mortality rates. Number of agricultural establishments, hectares planted with permanent crops, and hectares planted with temporary crops showed positive associations with mortality rates, as well as vegetable consumption, percentage of population aged 60 or more, and percentage of population having had medical consultation in the last 12 months. Negative associations were observed for total calories, consumption of oils and fats and percentage of population with health plan coverage.
Conclusions These results suggest that differences in long-term dietary habits and exposures to agricultural hazards could influence patterns of prostate cancer among Brazilian elders. Further epidemiologic studies are needed to clarify these possible associations.
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