Post-cancer diagnosis dietary inflammatory potential is associated with survival among women diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the Women's Health Initiative

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center

Publication Date


Document Type



Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition | Neoplasms | Preventive Medicine | Women's Health


PURPOSE: Dietary factors may influence colorectal cancer (CRC) survival through effects on inflammation. We examined the association between post-CRC diagnosis inflammatory potential of diet and all-cause and cancer-specific mortality in the Women's Health Initiative.

METHODS: The study included 463 postmenopausal women who developed CRC during follow-up and completed a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), on average 1.7 years after diagnosis. Women were followed from CRC diagnosis until death, censoring, or the end of follow-up in October 2014. Energy-adjusted dietary inflammatory index (E-DII)((R)) scores were calculated from the FFQ and dietary supplement inventory. Cox proportional hazards models were fitted to estimate multivariable-adjusted HRs and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for all-cause, total cancer, and CRC-specific mortality with the most pro-inflammatory E-DII scores (tertile 3) as referent.

RESULTS: After a median 11.6 years of follow-up, 162 deaths occurred, including 77 from CRC. Lowest tertile (i.e., most anti-inflammatory) E-DII scores from diet plus supplements were associated with significantly lower all-cause mortality (HRT1vsT3 = 0.49; 95% CI 0.31-0.79) compared to the most pro-inflammatory E-DII tertile. Modest associations with total cancer mortality or CRC-specific mortality were observed, though 95% CIs included 1.

CONCLUSIONS: Consuming a dietary pattern and supplements with more anti-inflammatory potential after CRC diagnosis may improve overall survival among postmenopausal women.


Post-cancer diagnosis, Dietary pattern, Colorectal cancer survival, Cohort study, Postmenopausal women

DOI of Published Version



Eur J Nutr. 2019 Apr 6. doi: 10.1007/s00394-019-01956-z. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

European journal of nutrition

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID