Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 727–736 | Cite as

Dietary patterns and colorectal cancer risk in Japan: the Ohsaki Cohort Study

  • Yumi Kumagai
  • Wan-Ting ChouEmail author
  • Yasutake Tomata
  • Yumi Sugawara
  • Masako Kakizaki
  • Yoshikazu Nishino
  • Ichiro Tsuji
Original paper



To evaluate dietary patterns in relation to colorectal cancer risk in Japanese.


We prospectively assessed the association between dietary patterns among the Japanese and the risk of colorectal cancer. Dietary information was collected from 44,097 Japanese men and women aged 40–79 years without a history of cancer at the baseline in 1994.


During 11 years of follow-up, we documented 854 cases of colorectal cancer, which included 554 cases of colon cancer and 323 cases of rectal cancer. Factor analysis (principal component analysis) based on a validated food frequency questionnaire identified three dietary patterns: (1) a Japanese dietary pattern, (2) an “animal food” dietary pattern, and (3) a high-dairy, high-fruit-and-vegetable, low-alcohol (DFA) dietary pattern. After adjustment for potential confounders, the DFA pattern was inversely associated with the risk of colorectal cancer (hazard ratio of the highest quartile vs the lowest, 0.76; 95 % confidence interval 0.60–0.97; p for trend = 0.02). When colon and rectal cancers were separated, the inverse association between the DFA pattern and cancer risk was observed for rectal cancer (p for trend = 0.003), but not for colon cancer (p for trend = 0.43). No apparent association was observed for either the Japanese dietary pattern or the “animal food” dietary pattern.


The DFA dietary pattern was found to be inversely associated with the risk of colorectal cancer. This association was observed for rectal cancer, but not for colon cancer.


Colorectal cancer Dietary patterns Japanese Cohort study 



This study was supported in part by the National Cancer Center Research and Development Fund (24-A-3) and the Third Term Comprehensive Ten-Year Strategy for Cancer Control, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan (H23-Junkankitou (Seisyu)-Ippan-005).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yumi Kumagai
    • 1
  • Wan-Ting Chou
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yasutake Tomata
    • 1
  • Yumi Sugawara
    • 1
  • Masako Kakizaki
    • 1
  • Yoshikazu Nishino
    • 2
  • Ichiro Tsuji
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Epidemiology, Department of Public Health and Forensic MedicineTohoku University Graduate School of MedicineSendaiJapan
  2. 2.Division of Cancer Epidemiology and PreventionMiyagi Cancer Center Research InstituteNatoriJapan

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