Pre-diagnostic meat and fibre intakes in relation to colorectal cancer survival in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Improvements in colorectal cancer (CRC) detection and treatment have led to greater numbers of CRC survivors, for whom there is limited evidence on which to provide dietary guidelines to improve survival outcomes. Higher intake of red and processed meat and lower intake of fibre are associated with greater risk of developing CRC, but there is limited evidence regarding associations with survival after CRC diagnosis. Among 3789 CRC cases in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort, pre-diagnostic consumption of red meat, processed meat, poultry and dietary fibre was examined in relation to CRC-specific mortality (n 1008) and all-cause mortality (n 1262) using multivariable Cox regression models, adjusted for CRC risk factors. Pre-diagnostic red meat, processed meat or fibre intakes (defined as quartiles and continuous grams per day) were not associated with CRC-specific or all-cause mortality among CRC survivors; however, a marginal trend across quartiles of processed meat in relation to CRC mortality was detected (P 0·053). Pre-diagnostic poultry intake was inversely associated with all-cause mortality among women (hazard ratio (HR)/20 g/d 0·92; 95 % CI 0·84, 1·00), but not among men (HR 1·00; 95 % CI 0·91, 1·09) (P for heterogeneity=0·10). Pre-diagnostic intake of red meat or fibre is not associated with CRC survival in the EPIC cohort. There is suggestive evidence of an association between poultry intake and all-cause mortality among female CRC survivors and between processed meat intake and CRC-specific mortality; however, further research using post-diagnostic dietary data is required to confirm this relationship.


  • Heather A Ward
  • Teresa Norat
  • Kim Overvad
  • Christina C Dahm
  • H Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita
  • Mazda Jenab
  • Veronika Fedirko
  • Fränzel J B van Duijnhoven
  • Guri Skeie
  • Dora Romaguera-Bosch
  • Anne Tjønneland
  • Anja Olsen
  • Franck Carbonnel
  • Aurélie Affret
  • Marie-Christine Boutron-Ruault
  • Verena Katzke
  • Tilman Kühn
  • Krassimira Aleksandrova
  • Heiner Boeing
  • Antonia Trichopoulou
  • Pagona Lagiou
  • Christina Bamia
  • Domenico Palli
  • Sabina Sieri
  • Rosario Tumino
  • Alessio Naccarati
  • Amalia Mattiello
  • Petra H Peeters
  • Elisabete Weiderpass
  • Lene Angell Åsli
  • Paula Jakszyn
  • J Ramón Quirós
  • María-José Sánchez
  • Miren Dorronsoro
  • José-María Huerta
  • Aurelio Barricarte
  • Ingegerd Johansson
  • Björn Gylling
  • Kathryn E Bradbury
  • Kay-Tee Khaw
  • Nicholas J Wareham
  • Magdalena Stepien
  • Heinz Freisling
  • Neil Murphy
  • Amanda J Cross
  • Elio Riboli
External organisations
  • Imperial College London
  • Aarhus University
  • International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization
  • Emory University
  • UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø
  • Wageningen University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-25
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul
Publication categoryResearch