A cohort study of dietary iron and heme iron intake and risk of colorectal cancer in women

Br J Cancer. 2007 Jul 2;97(1):118-22. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6603837. Epub 2007 Jun 5.


In a cohort study of 49,654 Canadian women, we assessed the association of colorectal cancer with total iron and heme iron intake, excluding iron supplements. Among women aged 40-59 years, followed for an average of 16.4 years, we identified 617 incident colorectal cancer cases. Data from a food frequency questionnaire administered at baseline were used to calculate red meat intake and intake of total dietary iron, iron from meat, and heme iron. Analyses were carried out for all cases and for the proximal colon, distal colon, and rectum, using Cox proportional hazards models. We found no association of intake of iron, heme iron, or iron from meat with risk of colorectal cancer overall or with any of the subsites, nor was there effect modification by alcohol consumption or hormonal replacement therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Cohort Studies
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / etiology
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heme / adverse effects*
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy
  • Humans
  • Iron, Dietary / adverse effects*
  • Meat
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk


  • Iron, Dietary
  • Heme