Dietary Fibre and the Risk of Colorectal Cancer: a Case-Control Study

  • Song, Y (Department of Public Health, Qingdao University) ;
  • Liu, M (Department of Public Health, Qingdao University) ;
  • Yang, FG (School of Nursing, Qingdao University Medical College, Qingdao University) ;
  • Cui, LH (Department of Public Health, Qingdao University) ;
  • Lu, XY (Basic Medical College, Qingdao University) ;
  • Chen, C (Department of Public Health, Qingdao University)
  • Published : 2015.05.18


Background: Colorectal cancer is one of the most commonly occurring cancers in China. Dietary fibre has been thought to decrease the risk of colorectal cancer in Western countries. However, studies investigating the association between dietary fibre (particularly soluble and insoluble fibres) and colorectal cancer have hitherto been lacking in China. Objective: This case-control study examined the effect of dietary fibre intake on the risk of colorectal cancer, stratified by tumour site. Materials and Methods: The study included 265 cases (colon cancer, 105; rectal cancer, 144; colon and rectal cancer, 16) and 252 controls residing in Qingdao. A food frequency questionnaire that included 121 food items was used to collect dietary information. Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using unconditional logistic regression analysis. Results: For food groups, controls in the study consumed more vegetables, soy food and total fibre than did colorectal cancer patients (p<0.05). The intakes of fruit, meat and sea-food did not differ significantly between cases and controls. However, we did not find any association between soy food intake and colon cancer. We observed inverse associations between total fibre intake and colorectal, colon and rectal cancer (Q4 vs Q1: OR=0.44, 95%CI, 0.27-0.73; OR=0.40, 95%CI, 0.21-0.76; OR=0.52, 95%CI, 0.29-0.91). Vegetable fibre intake showed similar inverse associations (Q4 vs Q1: OR=0.51, 95%CI, 0.31-0.85; OR=0.48, 95%CI, 0.25-0.91; OR=0.53, 95%CI, 0.29-0.97). In addition, inverse associations were observed between soluble fibre and insoluble fibre and both colorectal cancer and colon cancer. No relationship was found between colorectal cancer and fruit, soy or grain fibre intakewhen the results were stratified by tumour site. Conclusions: The present study suggests that vegetable fibre and total fibre play very important roles in protecting against colorectal cancer. Soluble and insoluble fibres were inversely associated with only colorectal cancer and colon cancer.


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