Dietary intake of calcium, fiber and other micronutrients in relation to colorectal cancer risk: Results from the Shanghai Women's Health Study

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We evaluated the associations of dietary intake of calcium, fiber and vitamins with colorectal cancer risk in a population-based prospective cohort study conducted among Chinese women in Shanghai. Subjects were recruited in urban Shanghai from March 1997 to May 2000. All subjects were interviewed in-person to obtain information on demographic and lifestyle factors and anthropometric measurement was conducted. Usual dietary intake, using a validated food frequency questionnaire was assessed at the baseline survey. After following a total of 73,314 women for a median of 5.74 years, 283 incident colorectal cancer cases were recorded. Excluding the first 2 years of follow-up, a high intake of calcium was associated with a decreased risk of colorectal cancer. Comparing the highest quintile of nutrients intake to the lowest, the adjusted relative risk for colorectal cancer was 0.6 (pvalue for trend = 0.023) for calcium. No apparent associations were found for fiber, total vitamin A, carotene, vitamins B1, B2, B3, C and E with colorectal cancer risk. Our results suggest that calcium may be protective against colorectal cancer development even at a lower consumption level compared to Western populations.

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