Alexandra Goldbohm and colleagues undertook a study to analyze dietary patterns or combinations of foods that may provide insight regarding the influence of diet on the risk of colon and rectal cancer.
Researchers working on the Dietary Patterns and Cancer (DIETSCAN) Project aimed to develop and apply a common methodologic approach to study dietary patterns and cancer in 4 European cohorts.
These cohorts were: 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).
In total, 3 cohorts (ATBC, NLCS, and SMC) provided data on colon and rectal cancer for the present study.
The cohorts were established between 1985 and 1992; follow-up data were obtained from national cancer registries.
Associations between the dietary patterns studied and the risk of colon and rectal cancer are not conclusive
|American Journal of Clinical Nutrition|
The researchers asked the participants to complete validated semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaires at baseline.
The group were able to identify 3-5 stable dietary patterns after exploratory factor analysis conducted within each cohort.
The researchers found that two dietary patterns—Vegetables and Pork, Processed Meats, Potatoes (PPP)—were common across all cohorts.
After the researchers had adjusted for potential confounders, they found that PPP was associated with an increased risk of colon cancer in the SMC women.
PPP was also found to be associated with an increased risk of rectal cancer in the ATBC men.
Neither pattern was associated with the risk of colon or rectal cancer in the NLCS women and men.
Dr Goldbohm concluded, "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."