We evaluated the role of dietary iron, heme iron, and supplemental iron on colorectal cancer (CRC) risk in a population-based case-control study in Pennsylvania, including 1005 incident cases and 1062 controls. Diet was assessed through a modified food frequency questionnaire that included supplement use and a meat-specific module. Cases reported intakes for the year before diagnosis, whereas controls reported intakes for the year before interview. Heme iron intake was calculated using a new heme database developed by the US National Cancer Institute. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using unconditional logistic regression. After multivariate adjustment, there were no significant associations between heme iron or total iron intake and CRC incidence. Dietary iron intake was inversely associated with CRC among women (OR Q5 vs. Q1=0.45; 95% CI=0.22-0.92), but not among men. Supplemental iron intake of more than 18 mg/day versus none was positively associated with CRC incidence (OR=2.31; 95% CI=1.48-3.59; P-trend<0.001), an effect that was observed in both men (OR=2.56; 95% CI=1.30-5.05) and women (OR=2.46; 95% CI=1.34-4.52). These findings suggest that consumption of more than 18 mg/day of supplemental iron may increase risk for CRC.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Cancer Research