The purpose of this study was to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies investigating the relationship between dietary fiber intake and subsite-specific colon cancer.
The PubMed database was searched to identify relevant cohort studies published from inception to August 2016 in order to examine individually the association between dietary fiber intake and the risk of proximal colon cancer (PCC), and that between dietary fiber intake and the risk of distal colon cancer (DCC). We searched the reference lists of the studies included in our analysis as well as those listed in the published meta-analyses. A random-effects model was used to compute summary risk estimates. Heterogeneity was assessed using I2 and Q statistics. Publication bias was assessed with the Egger's and Begg's tests, with a P value of P < .10 indicating publication bias. All statistical tests were 2-sided.
We identified and included 11 prospective cohort studies in the final meta-analysis. The risks of PCC and DCC among individuals in the highest dietary fiber intake quartile/quintile were 14% (relative risk [RR] = 0.86, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.78–0.95) and 21% (RR = 0.79, 95% CI = 0.71–0.87) lower, respectively, than those among individuals with the lowest dietary fiber intake. In a subgroup analysis, the inverse association observed in the sex-based subgroup was apparent only for men with PCC. Dietary fiber intake was inversely associated with DCC for both men and women. In addition, dietary fiber intake appeared to be inversely associated with PCC only in European countries, whereas this association was observed for DCC in both European countries and the United States.
Our findings reveal that dietary fiber intake is associated inversely with the risk of both PCC and DCCs.