The effect of folic acid supplementation on the risk for cancer or dysplasia in ulcerative colitis.

Lashner BA, Provencher KS, Seidner DL, Knesebeck A, Brzezinski A
Gastroenterology. 1997 112 (1): 29-32

PMID: 8978339 · DOI:10.1016/s0016-5085(97)70215-4

BACKGROUND & AIMS - Two case-control studies have shown that folate may protect against neoplasia in ulcerative colitis. This historical cohort study was performed to better define this association.

METHODS - The records of 98 patients with ulcerative colitis who had disease proximal to the splenic flexure for at least 8 years were reviewed. Documented folate use of at least 6 months was deemed a positive exposure.

RESULTS - Of the patients, 29.6% developed neoplasia and 40.2% took folate supplements. The adjusted relative risk (RR) of neoplasia for patients taking folate was 0.72 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.28-1.83). The dose of folate varied with the risk of neoplasia (RR, 0.54 for 1.0 mg folate; RR, 0.76 for 0.4 mg folate in a multivitamin compared with patients taking no folate). Folate use also varied with the degree of dysplasia (RR for cancer, 0.45; RR for high-grade dysplasia, 0.52; RR for low-grade dysplasia, 0.75 compared with patients with no dysplasia) (P = 0.08).

CONCLUSIONS - Although not statistically significant, the RR for folate supplementation on the risk of neoplasia is < 1 and shows a dose-response effect, consistent with previous studies. Daily folate supplementation may protect against the development of neoplasia in ulcerative colitis.

MeSH Terms (12)

Adult Cohort Studies Colitis, Ulcerative Colorectal Neoplasms Female Folic Acid Hematinics Humans Male Odds Ratio Precancerous Conditions Risk Assessment

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