The Dietary Inflammatory Index Is Associated with Colorectal Cancer Risk in the Multiethnic Cohort
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Background: Diet is known to influence systemic inflammation, a recognized risk factor for colorectal cancer (CRC). Studies in ethnically diverse populations that examine the association between dietary inflammatory potential and CRC incidence are limited. Objectives: We used the Dietary Inflammatory Index to clarify the relation between the inflammatory potential of diet and CRC incidence across racial/ethnic groups. We hypothesized that proinflammatory diets would be associated with an increased risk of CRC, and that these associations may differ across racial/ethnic groups. Methods: The Multiethnic Cohort (MEC) follows a prospective study design. It includes 190,963 white, African-American, native Hawaiian, Japanese-American, and Latino men and women aged 45-75 y at recruitment and followed over 20 y. Participants completed a food frequency questionnaire from which energy-adjusted Dietary Inflammatory Index (E-DII) scores were computed and categorized into quartiles. CRC incidence was documented through linkage to cancer registry programs. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate HRs and 95% CIs, adjusting for known or expected CRC risk factors. Results: Among all participants, more-proinflammatory diets (highest quartile compared with lowest quartile) were associated with an increased risk of CRC (HR: 1.21; 95% CI: 1.11, 1.32). However, the effect size was larger for men (HR: 1.28; 95% CI: 1.13, 1.45) than for women (HR: 1.16; 95% CI: 1.02, 1.33), although the interaction term for sex was not statistically significant (P-interaction = 0.17). When stratified by race/ethnicity, the association was significantly different between groups for men (P-interaction = 0.01), although not for women (P-interaction = 0.20). Significant associations with HRs ranging from 2.33 to 1.04 were observed in white, Japanese-American, and Latino men, and native Hawaiian women. Conclusions: Overall, more-proinflammatory diets, as identified by the E-DII, were associated with increased CRC risk in MEC participants across racial/ethnic groups. This study adds to the evidence suggesting that diets with high proinflammatory potential may increase CRC risk.
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