Dietary patterns associated with colon and rectal cancer: results from the Dietary Patterns and Cancer (DIETSCAN) Project

L.B. Dixon*, H.F. Balder, M.J. Virtanen, B. Rashidkhani, S. Männistö, V. Krogh, P.A. van den Brandt, A.M. Hartman, P. Pietinen, E.S. Tan, J. Virtamo, A. Wolk, R.A. Goldbohm

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

196 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND: An analysis of dietary patterns or combinations of foods may provide insight regarding the influence of diet on the risk of colon and rectal cancer. OBJECTIVE: A primary aim of the Dietary Patterns and Cancer (DIETSCAN) Project was to develop and apply a common methodologic approach to study dietary patterns and cancer in 4 European cohorts: the Alpha-Tocopherol Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study (Finland-ATBC), the Netherlands Cohort Study (NLCS) on Diet and Cancer, the Swedish Mammography Cohort (SMC), and the Ormoni e Dieta nella Eziologia dei Tumori (Italy-ORDET). Three cohorts (ATBC, NLCS, and SMC) provided data on colon and rectal cancer for the present study. DESIGN: The cohorts were established between 1985 and 1992; follow-up data were obtained from national cancer registries. The participants completed validated semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaires at baseline. RESULTS: Exploratory factor analysis, conducted within each cohort, identified 3-5 stable dietary patterns. Two dietary patterns-Vegetables and Pork, Processed Meats, Potatoes (PPP)-were common across all cohorts. After adjustment for potential confounders, PPP was associated with an increased risk of colon cancer in the SMC women (quintile 4(multivariate) relative risk: 1.62; 95% CI: 1.12, 2.34; P for trend = 0.01). PPP was also associated with an increased risk of rectal cancer in the ATBC men (quintile 4(multivariate) relative risk: 2.21; 95% CI: 1.07, 4.57; P for trend = 0.05). Neither pattern was associated with the risk of colon or rectal cancer in the NLCS women and men. CONCLUSION: Although certain dietary patterns may be consistent across European countries, associations between these dietary patterns and the risk of colon and rectal cancer are not conclusive.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1003-11
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004

Cite this