Main nutrient patterns and colorectal cancer risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background:Much of the current literature on diet-colorectal cancer (CRC) associations focused on studies of single foods/nutrients, whereas less is known about nutrient patterns. We investigated the association between major nutrient patterns and CRC risk in participants of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study.Methods:Among 477 312 participants, intakes of 23 nutrients were estimated from validated dietary questionnaires. Using results from a previous principal component (PC) analysis, four major nutrient patterns were identified. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were computed for the association of each of the four patterns and CRC incidence using multivariate Cox proportional hazards models with adjustment for established CRC risk factors.Results:During an average of 11 years of follow-up, 4517 incident cases of CRC were documented. A nutrient pattern characterised by high intakes of vitamins and minerals was inversely associated with CRC (HR per 1 s.d.=0.94, 95% CI: 0.92-0.98) as was a pattern characterised by total protein, riboflavin, phosphorus and calcium (HR (1 s.d.)=0.96, 95% CI: 0.93-0.99). The remaining two patterns were not significantly associated with CRC risk.Conclusions:Analysing nutrient patterns may improve our understanding of how groups of nutrients relate to CRC.


  • Aurélie Moskal
  • Heinz Freisling
  • Graham Byrnes
  • Nada Assi
  • Michael T. Fahey
  • Mazda Jenab
  • Pietro Ferrari
  • Anne Tjønneland
  • Kristina E N Petersen
  • Christina C. Dahm
  • Camilla Plambeck Hansen
  • Aurélie Affret
  • Marie Christine Boutron-Ruault
  • Claire Cadeau
  • Tilman Kühn
  • Verena Katzke
  • Khalid Iqbal
  • Heiner Boeing
  • Antonia Trichopoulou
  • Christina Bamia
  • Androniki Naska
  • Giovanna Masala
  • Maria Santucci De Magistris
  • Sabina Sieri
  • Rosario Tumino
  • Carlotta Sacerdote
  • Petra H. Peeters
  • Bas H. Bueno-De-Mesquita
  • Dagrun Engeset
  • Idlir Licaj
  • Guri Skeie
  • Eva Ardanaz
  • Genevieve Buckland
  • José M Huerta Castaño
  • José R. Quirós
  • Pilar Amiano
  • Elena Molina-Portillo
  • Anna Winkvist
  • Robin Myte
  • Aurora Perez-Cornago
  • Nick Wareham
  • Kay Tee Khaw
  • Inge Huybrechts
  • Konstantinos K. Tsilidis
  • Heather Ward
  • Marc J. Gunter
  • Nadia Slimani
External organisations
  • International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization
  • Swinburne University of Technology
  • Danish Cancer Society Research Center
  • Aarhus University
  • Institut Gustave Roussy
  • German Cancer Research Centre
  • German Institute of Human Nutrition
  • National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • Cancer Research and Prevention Institute (ISPO)
  • University of Naples Federico II
  • Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori
  • Civic and M.P Arezzo Hospital
  • Centre for Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention (CPO Piemonte)
  • Imperial College London
  • University of Malaya
  • Norwegian Food Safety Authority
  • UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø
  • Health Research Institute of Navarra (IDISNA)
  • Bellvitge University Hospital-IDIBELL
  • Murcia Regional Health Council
  • Public Health Directorate
  • CIBER Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP)
  • Instituto de Investigación Biosanitaria de Granada (Granada.ibs)
  • Umeå University
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Cambridge
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1430-1440
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov 22
Publication categoryResearch