Background: Variation in cancer incidence in geographical locations is due to different lifestyles and riskfactors. Diet and socio-economic position (SEP) have been identified as important for the etiology of cancer butpatterns are changing and inconsistent. The aim of this study was to investigate correlations of the incidence ofcommon cancers with food groups, total energy, smoking, and SEP. Materials and
Methods: In an ecologicalstudy, disaggregated cancer data through the National Cancer Registry in Iran (2008) and dietary intake,smoking habits and SEP obtained through a population based survey within the Urban Health Equity Assessment(Urban-HEART) project were correlated across 22 districts of Tehran.
Results: Consumption of fruit, meatand dairy products adjusted for energy were positively correlated with bladder, colorectal, prostate and breastand total cancers in men and women, while these cancers were adversely correlated with bread and fat intake.Also prostate, breast, colorectal, bladder and ovarian cancers had a positive correlation with SEP; there was nocorrelation between SEP and skin cancer in both genders and stomach cancer in men.
Conclusions: The incidenceof cancer was higher in some regions of Tehran which appeared to be mainly determined by SEP rather thandietary intake. Further individual data are required to investigate reasons of cancer clustering.