Intake of dietary fibre and lifetime non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use and the incidence of colorectal polyps in a population screened for colorectal cancer

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There is suggestive evidence that increased intake of dietary fibre and the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are generally associated with decreased colorectal cancer risk. However, the effects on precursors of colorectal cancer, such as adenomatous polyps, are mixed. We present the associations between dietary fibre intake and NSAID use on the presence and type of colorectal polyps in a screening population.


A cross-sectional study of 2548 individuals undergoing colonoscopy at the Forzani & MacPhail Colon Cancer Screening Centre (Calgary, Canada) was conducted. Dietary fibre intake and NSAID use were assessed using the Diet History Questionnaire I or II and the Health and Lifestyle Questionnaire. Colorectal outcomes were documented as a polyp or high-risk adenomatous polyp (HRAP; villous histology, high-grade dysplasia, ≥10 mm or ≥3 adenomas). Crude and ORs and 95% CIs were estimated using unconditional logistic regression.


There were 1450 negative colonoscopies and 1098 patients with polyps, of which 189 patients had HRAPs. Total dietary fibre intake was associated with a decreased presence of HRAPs (OR=0.50, 95% CI: 0.29 to 0.86) when comparing the highest to lowest quartiles and was observed with both soluble (OR=0.51, 95% CI: 0.30 to 0.88) and insoluble (OR=0.51, 95% CI: 0.30 to 0.86) fibres. Ever use of NSAIDs was also inversely associated with HRAPs (OR=0.65, 95% CI: 0.47 to 0.89), observed with monthly (OR=0.60, 95% CI: 0.37 to 0.95) and daily (OR=0.53, 95% CI: 0.32 to 0.86) use.


Dietary fibre intake and NSAID use were associated with a decreased risk of having a HRAP at screening.

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