Background: The relationship between major dietary patterns and colorectal cancer (CRC) in other populations largely remains consistent across studies. The objective of the present study is to assess if dietary patterns are associated with the risk of CRC in the population of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL).
Methods: Data from a population based case-control study in the province of NL were analyzed, including 506 CRC patients (306 men and 200 women) and 673 controls (400 men and 273 women), aged 20-74 years. Dietary habits were assessed by a 169-item food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Logistic regression analyses were performed to investigate the association between dietary patterns and the CRC risk.
Results: Three major dietary patterns were derived using factor analysis, namely a Meat-diet pattern, a Plant-based diet pattern and a Sugary-diet pattern. In combination the three dietary patterns explained 74% of the total variance in food intake. Results suggest that the Meat-diet and the Sugary-diet increased the risk of CRC with corresponding odds ratios (ORs) of 1.84 (95% CI: 1.19-2.86) and 2.26 (95% CI: 1.39-3.66) for people in the highest intake quintile compared to those in the lowest. Whereas plant-based diet pattern decreases the risk of CRC with a corresponding OR of 0.55 (95% CI: 0.35-0.87). Even though odds ratios (ORs) were not always statistically significant, largely similar associations across three cancer sites were found: the proximal colon, the distal colon, and the rectum.
Conclusion: The finding that Meat-diet/Sugary-diet patterns increased and Plant-based diet pattern decreased the risk of CRC would guide the promotion of healthy eating for primary prevention of CRC in this population.