Inverse Association between Canned Fish Consumption and Colorectal Cancer Risk: Analysis of Two Large Case-Control Studies

Nutrients. 2022 Apr 16;14(8):1663. doi: 10.3390/nu14081663.


Fish is among the foods exerting favourable effects on colorectal cancer (CRC), but the possible role of canned fish has been insufficiently investigated. We aimed to investigate the relationship between canned fish consumption and CRC risk. We analysed data from two case-control studies conducted between 1992 and 2010 in several Italian areas, comprising a total of 2419 incident cases and 4723 hospital controls. Canned fish consumption was analysed according to the weekly frequency of consumption as <1 serving per week (s/w) (reference category), 1 < 2 s/w, and ≥2 s/w. We calculated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using unconditional logistic regression models, adjusting for several recognised confounding factors. Overall, canned fish consumption was lower among cases than among controls (23.8% vs. 28.6%). An inverse association was found between canned fish consumption and CRC risk with a significant trend in risk (OR = 0.81, 95% CI: 0.71-0.92 for intermediate consumption and OR = 0.66, 95% CI: 0.51-0.85 for the highest one), which was consistent across strata of several covariates. This study is the first to offer a basis of support for canned fish consumption as a component of a healthy diet, and it has relevant public health implications given the high ranking of CRC in incidence and mortality worldwide.

Keywords: canned fish; colorectal cancer; nutrition; primary prevention.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / prevention & control
  • Diet
  • Fishes
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Seafood*