Egg consumption and mortality from colon and rectal cancers: an ecological study

Nutr Cancer. 2003;46(2):158-65. doi: 10.1207/S15327914NC4602_08.


The relation between egg consumption and mortality from colon and rectal cancers remains unclear and was investigated in this study. Colon and rectal cancer mortality data, mostly around 1993-94 and egg consumption data in nine time periods (1964-94) in 34 countries were derived from World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization, respectively. Egg consumption was significantly and positively correlated with mortality from colon and rectal cancers in both sexes in most of the nine time periods. The correlations were generally stronger for colon cancer (r = 0.39 to 0.63 in men and r = 0.33 to 0.65 in women) than for rectal cancer (r = 0.18 to 0.49 in men and r = 0.08 to 0.45 in women). After adjustment for confounding factors, egg consumption was still significantly and positively associated with mortality from colon cancer in the earliest five time periods (1964-84) (P = 0.046 to 0.017 in men and P = 0.034 to 0.014 in women) and rectal cancer in the latest five time periods except for the last time period (1982-91) (P = 0.046 to 0.024 in men and P = 0.045 to 0.026 in women). This study suggested that egg consumption was associated with an increased risk of colon and rectal cancers at the population level

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Colonic Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Eggs*
  • Female
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meat
  • Rectal Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking
  • World Health Organization


  • Dietary Fats