The relationship between dietary inflammatory index (DII) and upper aerodigestive tract (UADT) cancer risk have been investigated in a growing number of epidemiological studies. However, their findings were inconsistent, and no systematic review or meta-analysis has been conducted up to now. This meta-analysis was carried out to examine potential dose-response relationship between DII score and UADT cancer risk.
A systematic search was conducted for relevant studies in PubMed and Web of Science up to March 28, 2019. Categorical meta-analysis as well as linear and non-linear dose-response meta-analysis were performed to evaluate association between DII and UADT cancer risk.
Nine case-control studies with a total of 4138 cases and 15,326 healthy controls were eligible in the present meta-analysis. The pooled odds ratios (ORs) of UADT cancer risk were 2.07 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.82, 2.35] for the highest DII score compared with the lowest and 1.53 (95% CI: 1.39, 1.69) for higher DII score compared with lower score, respectively. Furthermore, a one-unit increment in DII score was associated with an increased risk of 18% for UADT cancers (OR: 1.18; 95% CI: 1.15, 1.21). An upward trend towards a positive association between elevated DII score and UADT cancer risk was also observed in non-linear dose-response meta-analysis.
The present meta-analysis provides evidence of highly pro-inflammatory diets that might increase risk of UADT cancers. Therefore, reducing pro-inflammatory components in diets should be considered to prevent and control UADT cancers.

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