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

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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

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