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AACR: Fish Intake May Reduce Rate of Colorectal Cancer

Risk 40 percent lower in men who ate fish at least five times weekly

TUESDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Men who ate fish five or more times weekly had a 40 percent decreased incidence of colorectal cancer compared to those who ate fish less than once weekly, according to research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research meeting, held in Boston.

Megan Phillips, a doctoral student at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues evaluated the mean daily intake of fish and n-3 fatty acids of 22,071 participants in the Physicians' Health Study followed for a mean of 19.4 years, who had no cardiovascular disease or cancer at the study's start in 1982. There were 501 cases of colorectal cancer.

The percentage of men who ate fish less than once a week was 9.6 percent; 31.1 percent ate fish less than twice a week; 48.4 percent ate fish two times to less than five times a week; and 10.9 percent ate fish more than five times per week. Multivariate relative risks for more fish intake were 1.00, 0.87, 0.80, and 0.60, respectively. The findings for n-3 fatty acids were similar to those for fish. The relative risk for the highest compared to the lowest fish intake were 0.59 for colon and 0.62 for rectal cancers.

"Fish and long-chain n-3 fatty acids from fish may decrease the risk of colorectal cancer," the authors conclude.

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