Although diet has long been suspected as an etiological factor for colorectal cancer, studies of single foods and nutrients have provided inconsistent results.
Dr Andrew Flood and colleagues from Minnesota, USA used factor analysis methods to study associations between dietary patterns and colorectal cancer in middle-aged Americans.
Diet was assessed among 293,615 men and 198,767 women in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study.
The researcher used principal components factor analysis, and identified 3 primary dietary patterns.
|A low frequency of meat and potato consumption are associated with decreased colorectal cancer risk|
|American Journal of Clinical Nutrition|
The 3 patterns included fruit and vegetables, diet foods, and red meat and potatoes.
State cancer registries identified 2151 incident cases of colorectal cancer in men, and 959 in women between 1995 and 2000.
Men with high scores on the fruit and vegetable pattern were at decreased risk.
Both men and women had a similar risk reduction with high scores on the diet food factor.
High scores on the red meat factor were associated with increased risk.
Dr Flood's team commented, "These results suggest that dietary patterns characterized by a low frequency of meat and potato consumption are associated with a decreased risk of colorectal cancer."
"Frequent consumption of fruit and vegetables and fat-reduced foods are consistent with a decreased risk of colorectal cancer."