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Proinflammatory Diet May Point to Higher Risk of Colon Cancer

By: Joseph Fanelli
Posted: Thursday, March 22, 2018

Proinflammatory diets may place men and women at higher risk for colorectal cancer, according to new findings published in the JAMA Oncology. “Strategies to reduce the adverse role of a proinflammatory diet may reduce colorectal cancer risk,” concluded lead author Fred K. Tabung, PhD, of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and colleagues.

Researchers used an empirical dietary inflammatory pattern (EDIP) score based on a weighted sum of 18 food groups that characterize inflammatory potential in analyzing data from 46,804 men and 74,246 women over a 26-year period. The study data for the men came from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study: 1986–2012, and for the women, the data came from the Nurses’ Health Study: 1984–2012.

The researchers observed 2,699 incident cases of colorectal cancer and found that higher EDIP scores were associated with higher risks of colon cancer in men (44%, 1.44 hazard ratio) and in women (22%, 1.22 hazard ratio). Those in the highest EDIP quintile had an incidence rate of 151 (men) and 92 (women), compared with those in the lowest quintile (with incidence rates of 113 and 80, respectively).

Additionally, in subgroup analyses, higher associations of colorectal cancer were reported in overweight and obese men (1.48 hazard ratio), lean women (1.31 hazard ratio), and men and women who do not consume alcohol (1.62 and 1.33 hazard ratios, respectively). “Interventions to reduce the adverse role of proinflammatory diets may be more effective” in these subgroups, indicated Dr. Tabung and colleagues.

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