PURPOSE - The observed associations of fruit and vegetable consumption with the risk of colorectal cancer have been inconsistent. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the association of fruit and vegetable consumption with the risk of colorectal cancer among Chinese men.
METHODS - 61,274 male participants aged 40-74 years were included. A validated food frequency questionnaire was administered to collect information on usual dietary intake, including 8 fruits and 38 vegetables commonly consumed by residents of Shanghai. Follow-up for diagnoses of colon or rectal cancer was available through 31 December 2010. Dietary intakes were analyzed both as categorical and continuous variables. Multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95 % confidence intervals (95 % CIs) were calculated for colorectal, colon, and rectal cancers using Cox proportional hazards models.
RESULTS - After 390,688 person-years of follow-up, 398 cases of colorectal cancer (236 colon and 162 rectal) were observed in the cohort. Fruit consumption was inversely associated with the risk of colorectal cancer (fifth vs. first quintile HR 0.67; 95 % CI 0.48, 0.95; p trend = 0.03), whereas vegetable intake was not significantly associated with risk. The associations for subgroups of fruits and legumes, but not other vegetable categories, were generally inversely associated with the risk of colon and rectal cancers.
CONCLUSIONS - Fruit intake was generally inversely associated with the risk of colorectal cancer, whereas vegetable consumption was largely unrelated to risk among middle-aged and older Chinese men.