Dietary fatty acids and colorectal cancer: A case-control study

Evropi Theodoratou, Geraldine McNeill, Roseanne Cetnarskyj, Susan M. Farrington, Albert Tenesa, Rebecca Barnetson, Mary Porteous, Malcolm Dunlop, Harry Campbell

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123 Citations (Scopus)


Fatty acid effects on colorectal cancer risk were examined in a national prospective case-control study in Scotland (1999-2006), including 1,455 incident cases and 1,455 matched controls. Three conditional logistic regression models adjusted for energy (residual method) and for other risk factors were applied in the whole sample and were stratified by sex, cancer site, age, and tumor staging. Total and trans-monounsatu rated fatty acids and palmitic, stearic, and oleic acids were dose-dependently associated with colorectal cancer risk, but these effects did not persist after further energy adjustment. Significant dose-dependent reductions in risk were associated with increased consumption of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (highest vs. lowest quartile of intake: odds ratio = 0.63, 95% confidence interval: 0.50, 0.80; p < 0.0005 for trend) and of eicosapentaenoic (odds ratio = 0.59, 95% confidence interval: 0.47, 0.75; p < 0.0005 for trend) and docosahexaenoic (odds ratio = 0.63, 95% confidence interval: 0.50, 0.80; p < 0.0005 for trend) acids. These associations persisted after including energy with the nutrient-energy-adjusted term or total fatty acid intake (energy adjusted). The observed different effects of different types of fatty acids underline the importance of type of fat in the etiology and prevention of colorectal cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-195
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number2
Early online date9 May 2007
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2007


  • case-control studies
  • colorectal neoplasms
  • fatty acids
  • omega-3
  • unsaturated
  • logistic models
  • Scotland
  • stearic acids
  • food-frequency questionnaire
  • colon-cancer
  • folate intake
  • risk
  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • prevention
  • women
  • fiber
  • fish
  • association


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