Fiber Associated With Reduced Mortality in Those With Colorectal Cancer

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Increased vegetable fiber intake was associated with lower all-cause mortality.
Increased vegetable fiber intake was associated with lower all-cause mortality.

(HealthDay News) -- Higher fiber intake after a diagnosis of nonmetastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) is associated with lower CRC-specific and overall mortality, according to a study published online Nov. 2 in JAMA Oncology.

Mingyang Song, M.D., Sc.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues assessed the association of post-diagnostic fiber intake with mortality among 1,575 health care professionals with stage I to III CRC evaluated through the Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

The researchers found that over eight years of follow-up, there were 773 deaths, including 174 from CRC. High intake of total fiber after diagnosis was associated with lower mortality. For each 5-g increment in intake per day, the multivariable hazard ratio was 0.78 for CRC-specific mortality and 0.86 for all-cause mortality. Each 5-g/day increase in fiber intake was associated with 18 percent lower CRC-specific mortality and 14 percent lower all-cause mortality for patients who increased their fiber consumption after diagnosis. Cereal fiber was associated with lower CRC-specific and all-cause mortality, while vegetable fiber was associated with lower all-cause mortality but not CRC-specific mortality. Whole grain intake was associated with lower CRC-specific mortality, though the association was attenuated after adjustment for fiber intake.

"Our findings provide support for the nutritional recommendations of maintaining sufficient fiber intake among CRC survivors," conclude the authors.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies.

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