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No Link Found Between Fiber and Colorectal Cancer Risk

Study includes pooled data from 13 studies, more than 725,000 subjects

TUESDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The combined data from 13 prospective studies aimed at measuring dietary cancer risks suggests there is no link between fiber intake and reduced incidence of colon cancer. The results are published in the Dec. 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Stephanie A. Smith-Warner, Ph.D., from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues analyzed data from the Pooling Project of Prospective Studies of Diet and Cancer, which included a six- to 20-year follow-up of 725,628 men and women.

While their initial assessment showed an inverse relationship between the top quintile of dietary fiber intake and colorectal cancer risk (relative risk = 0.84), no association remained after adjusting for other dietary risk factors including folate, red meat, milk and alcohol consumption.

The study is in direct contrast with the recent EPIC trial in Europe that showed a 40% reduction in colorectal cancer risk for the top quintile of fiber intake. "Because the degree of confounding by other risk factors of colorectal cancer may vary depending on characteristics of a study population, thorough examination for selection of covariates to be included in a multivariate model is needed," the authors write.

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