Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 21, Issue 9, pp 1417–1425 | Cite as

Meat, poultry and fish and risk of colorectal cancer: pooled analysis of data from the UK dietary cohort consortium

  • Elizabeth A. Spencer
  • Timothy J. Key
  • Paul N. Appleby
  • Christina C. Dahm
  • Ruth H. Keogh
  • Ian S. Fentiman
  • Tasnime Akbaraly
  • Eric J. Brunner
  • Victoria Burley
  • Janet E. Cade
  • Darren C. Greenwood
  • Alison M. Stephen
  • Gita Mishra
  • Diana Kuh
  • Robert Luben
  • Angela A. Mulligan
  • Kay-Tee Khaw
  • Sheila A. Rodwell
Original paper

Abstract

Objective

Some but not all epidemiological studies have reported that high intakes of red and processed meat are associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. In the UK Dietary Cohort Consortium, we examined associations of meat, poultry and fish intakes with colorectal cancer risk using standardised individual dietary data pooled from seven UK prospective studies.

Methods

Four- to seven-day food diaries were analysed, disaggregating the weights of meat, poultry and fish from composite foods to investigate dose–response relationships. We identified 579 cases of colorectal cancer and matched with 1,996 controls on age, sex and recruitment date. Conditional logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios for colorectal cancer associated with meat, poultry and fish intakes, adjusting for relevant covariables.

Results

Disaggregated intakes were moderately low, e.g. mean red meat intakes were 38.2 g/day among male and 28.7 g/day among female controls. There was little evidence of association between the food groups examined and risk for colorectal cancer: Odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) for a 50 g/day increase were 1.01 (0.84–1.22) for red meat, 0.88 (0.68–1.15) for processed meat, 0.97 (0.84–1.12) for red and processed meat combined, 0.80 (0.65–1.00) for poultry, 0.92 (0.70–1.21) for white fish and 0.89 (0.70–1.13) for fatty fish.

Conclusions

This study using pooled data from prospective food diaries, among cohorts with low to moderate meat intakes, shows little evidence of association between consumption of red and processed meat and colorectal cancer risk.

Keywords

Prospective Food diary Meat Fish Colorectal cancer 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank the participants in these cohort studies for their contribution to this research.

Funding

The UK Dietary Cohort Consortium at the MRC Centre for Nutritional Epidemiology in Cancer Prevention and Survival is funded by the Medical Research Council. The cohort studies included in this consortium received funding from: British Heart Foundation; Cancer Research UK; Department of Health, UK; Food Standards Agency, UK; Lloyds TSB Foundation for the Channel Islands; Medical Research Council, UK; the Stroke Association, UK, and the World Cancer Research Fund.

Conflict of interest statement

TJK is a member of the Vegan Society, UK.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth A. Spencer
    • 1
  • Timothy J. Key
    • 1
  • Paul N. Appleby
    • 1
  • Christina C. Dahm
    • 2
  • Ruth H. Keogh
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ian S. Fentiman
    • 4
  • Tasnime Akbaraly
    • 5
  • Eric J. Brunner
    • 5
  • Victoria Burley
    • 6
  • Janet E. Cade
    • 6
  • Darren C. Greenwood
    • 6
  • Alison M. Stephen
    • 7
  • Gita Mishra
    • 8
  • Diana Kuh
    • 8
  • Robert Luben
    • 9
  • Angela A. Mulligan
    • 2
  • Kay-Tee Khaw
    • 9
  • Sheila A. Rodwell
    • 2
  1. 1.Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Nuffield Department of Clinical MedicineUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  2. 2.Department of Public Health and Primary CareMedical Research Council Centre for Nutritional Epidemiology in Cancer Prevention and SurvivalCambridgeUK
  3. 3.Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit, Institute of Public HealthUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  4. 4.Academic Oncology UnitGuy’s HospitalLondonUK
  5. 5.Medical Research Council Unit for Lifelong Health and AgeingLondonUK
  6. 6.Centre for Epidemiology & BiostatisticsUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK
  7. 7.MRC Human Nutrition ResearchElsie Widdowson LaboratoryCambridgeUK
  8. 8.MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing, Department of Epidemiology and Public HealthUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  9. 9.Department of Public Health and Primary CareUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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