Fruit and vegetable intakes and the risk of colorectal cancer in the Breast Cancer Detection Demonstration Project follow-up cohort

Flood, Andrew; Velie, Ellen M.; Chaterjee, Nilanjan; Subar, Amy F.; Thompson, Frances E.; Lacey Jr, James V.; Schairer, Catherine; Troisi, Rebecca; Schatzkin, Arthur
May 2002
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition;May2002, Vol. 75 Issue 5, p936
Academic Journal
Background: Recent findings have cast doubt on the hypothesis that high intakes of fruit and vegetables are associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer. Objective: In a large prospective cohort of women, we examined the association between fruit and vegetable intakes and colorectal cancer. Design: Between 1987 and 1989, 45 490 women with no history of colorectal cancer satisfactorily completed a 62-item Block-National Cancer Institute food-frequency questionnaire. During 386 142 person-years of follow-up, 314 women reported incident colorectal cancer, searches of the National Death Index identified an additional 106 colorectal cancers, and a match with state registries identified another 65 colorectal cancers for a total of 485 cases. We used Cox proportional hazards regression analysis to estimate the relative risks (RRs) and 95% CIs in both energy-adjusted and fully adjusted models. Results: In models using the multivariate nutrient-density model of energy adjustment, RRs for increasing quintile of fruit consumption indicated no significant association with colorectal cancer [RR (95% CI)]: 1.00 (reference), 0.94 (0.70, 1.26), 0.85 (0.63, 1.15), 1.07 (0.81, 1.42), and 1.09 (0.82, 1.44). For vegetable consumption, there was also no significant association in the multivariate nutrient-density model with increasing quintiles of consumption: 1.00 (reference), 0.77 (0.58, 1.02), 0.83 (0.63, 1.10), 0.90 (0.69, 1.19), and 0.92 (0.70, 1.22). Additionally, 3 alternative models of energy adjustment showed no significant association between increases in vegetable intake and the risk of colorectal cancer. Conclusion: Although the limitations of our study design and data merit consideration, this investigation provides little evidence of an association between fruit and vegetable intakes and colorectal cancer.


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