Aim: The incidnece of biliary tract cancer (BTC) is many-fold higher for American Indians (AI) relative tonon-Hispanic whites (NHW). Neither gallstones nor genetics can account for this difference. There is speculationthat certain fatty acids in bile may play a role in preventing BTC. Since diet may influence composition of bile,we compared the dietary intakes of urban AI and NHW adult women in New Mexico.
Methods: Design, a crosssectionalstudy of the diets of lactating AI and NHW women was conducted. Setting, the University of New MexicoHospital. Participants, healthy lactating women 18 to 39 years of age were recruited. Main outcome measures,a three-day diet record for each participant was analyzed.
Results: The AI women consumed less calcium (p =0.04) and significantly less short and intermediate chain-length fatty acids (C4-C12), but nearly twice as muchproinflammatory arachidonic acid as the NHWs (p <0.01). The intake of dairy products by AI women was lessthan NHW women (p = 0.01) while the intake of processed meat products was higher (p <0.01).
Conclusion:Dietary factors may account for the difference in the risk of BTC between AI and NHW women.