The association of dietary quality with colorectal cancer among normal weight, overweight and obese men and women: a prospective longitudinal study in the USA

Rosalie A. Torres Stone, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Molly E. Waring, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Sarah L. Cutrona, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Catarina I. Kiefe, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Jeroan J. Allison, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Chyke A. Doubeni, University of Pennsylvania

Document Type Article

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Lower body mass index (BMI) and higher dietary quality reduce the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). A full understanding of how these associations vary by sex and weight is lacking.

METHODS: We used data from the National Institutes of Health - American Association of Retired Persons (NIH)-AARP) Diet and Health Study for 398 458 persons who were 50-71 years old in 1995-1996 and followed through 2006. Exposures were dietary quality as reflected by the Mediterranean Diet, the Healthy Eating Index-2010 and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension score, stratified by BMI category. The outcome was CRC diagnosis from cancer registry data. Cox regression models were adjusted for disease risk factors.

RESULTS: Over a mean duration of 123 months of follow-up, there were 6515 new diagnoses of CRC (1953 among the normal weight, 2924 among the overweight and 1638 among the obese; 4483 among men and 2032 among women). For normal weight and overweight men, we found a strong dose-response pattern for the association of increasing quintile of dietary quality with decreasing risk of CRC; this pattern was observed for obese men as well, but less consistently across the three measures of dietary quality. The findings were of smaller magnitude and less consistent for women but still suggesting associations of similar direction.

CONCLUSION: We observed that increased dietary quality was associated with lower risk of incident CRC up to 10 years later for men regardless of baseline weight category.