Fat, fiber, fruits, vegetables, and risk of colorectal adenomas

Aleyamma Mathew, Ulrike Peters, Nilanjan Chatterjee, Martin Kulldorff, Rashmi Sinha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


A case-control study was conducted at the National Naval Medical Center (Maryland, USA) from 1994 to 1996 to investigate the possible association between dietary factors and colorectal adenomas. Cases (n = 239) were subjects diagnosed with adenomas (146 new and 93 recurrent) by sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. Those with no evidence of adenomas found by sigmoidoscopy were recruited as controls (n = 228). Dietary variables, assessed by a 100-item food frequency questionnaire, were analyzed by the logistic regression model, which was adjusted for age, gender and total energy intake. Variables of fat intake were further adjusted for red meat intake. An increased risk of 7% [odds ratio (OR): 1.07; 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 0.94-1.22] per 5% energy/day from total fat was observed. Every additional 5% unit of oleic acid intake/day significantly increased the adenoma risk by 115% (OR: 2.15; 95% CI: 1.05-4.39). Red meat fat increased the risk by 20% (OR: 1.20; 95% CI: 0.71-2.04), and white meat fat decreased the risk by 67% (OR: 0.33; 95% CI: 0.19-0.95) for every additional 5% unit of respective intake/day. Risk decreased by 41% (OR: 0.59; 95% CI: 0.41-0.86) for every additional 5% unit of fiber intake/day. Vegetable [OR per 100 g of vegetable intake/day: 0.83, 95% CI: 0:67-1.04] and fruit (OR per 100 g of fruit intake/day: 0.92, 95% CI: 0.82-1.03) intake showed an inverse association, and the results are suggestive of an association with the risk for adenomas. In conclusion, a strong positive association between oleic acid intake and colorectal adenoma risk was observed. This is likely to be an indicator of "unhealthy" food (meat, dairy, margarine, mayonnaise, sweet baked food) consumption in this population. Increased intake of dietary fiber was associated with a moderately decreased risk of adenomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-292
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 10 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Colorectal adenoma
  • Fiber
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Red meat fat
  • Saturated fat
  • Unsaturated fat
  • White meat fat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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