BACKGROUND: Chronic inflammation, associated with lifestyle and dietary factors, may contribute to colorectal carcinogenesis. To address this, we investigated associations of previously validated, inflammation biomarker panel-weighted, novel, 4-component lifestyle (LIS) and 19-component predominately whole foods-based dietary (DIS) inflammation scores with incident colorectal cancer (CRC) in the prospective Iowa Women's Health Study (IWHS; 1986-2012; n = 34,254, of whom 1,632 developed CRC).
METHODS: We applied the published scores' components' weights, summed the weighted components to constitute the scores (higher scores reflect a higher balance of pro-inflammatory exposures), and investigated LIS- and DIS-CRC associations using multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression.
RESULTS: The multivariable-adjusted hazards ratios (HR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) for CRC among participants in the highest relative to the lowest LIS and DIS quintiles were 1.47 (1.26, 1.72; P trend < 0.01) and 1.07 (0.91, 1.25; P trend = 0.22), respectively. The corresponding findings for distal colon cancers were HR 1.78 (1.29, 2.47) and HR 1.34 (0.98, 1.84), respectively. Among those in the highest relative to the lowest joint LIS/DIS quintile, the HR for CRC was 1.60 (95% CI 1.30, 1.98).
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that a more pro-inflammatory lifestyle, alone and jointly with a more pro-inflammatory diet, may be associated with higher CRC risk.
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