June 26, 2013
BALTIMOREWomen who consumed a diet rich in poultry during their high school years may have a lower risk of colon cancer, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health examined the association between meat and fish intake during adolescence and the risk of colorectal adenomasbenign tumors that can progress into cancerin 19,771 women between ages 34 and 51 years old. The study began in 1998, with a food-frequency questionnaire about diets during high school. The subjects then underwent at least one lower-bowel endoscopy during the study period which took place between 1998 and 2007.
During the 9-year study, 1,494 subjects were diagnosed with colorectal adenomas. Intake of red meat during adolescence was not associated with colorectal adenoma risk when comparing those in the highest versus lowest category of intake (odds ratio (OR) = 1.04, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.81, 1.35). Similarly, intake of fish during adolescence was not associated with colorectal adenoma risk (OR = 0.96, 95% CI: 0.78, 1.17).
Intake of poultry during adolescence was associated with a lower risk of total colorectal (OR = 0.80, 95% CI: 0.64, 0.99), distal (OR = 0.71, 95% CI: 0.51, 0.99), rectal (OR = 0.51, 95% CI: 0.29, 0.90), and advanced (OR = 0.60, 95% CI: 0.38, 0.93) adenomas.
One serving replacement of red meat with poultry or fish was associated with a 41% and 35% decreased risks for rectal adenomas and advanced adenomas, respectively.
A similar study published in 2010 showed women who ate protein-rich food, other than red mean, had a significantly lower risk of developing heart disease.
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