Diabetes has been associated with colorectal cancer. We evaluated whether adherence to a diabetes risk reduction diet (DRRD) can favorably influence the risk of colorectal cancer.


Data came from a multicentric Italian case-control study including 1,953 histologically confirmed colorectal cancer cases and 4,154 hospital controls admitted for acute nonneoplastic diseases. Diet was assessed through a validated and reproducible food frequency questionnaire. The DRRD score was computed assigning higher values for higher consumption of cereal fiber, fruit, coffee, nuts and a higher polyunsaturated/saturated fats ratio and for lower glycemic index and lower consumption of red/processed meat and sweetened beverages and fruit juices. The ORs and the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI) of colorectal cancer according to the DRRD score were obtained using logistic regression models adjusting for total energy intake and other major confounders.


The DRRD was inversely related to colorectal cancer risk. The ORs of colorectal cancer were 0.77 (95% CI, 0.67–0.89) for the third versus first score tertile (Ptrend < 0.001) and 0.92 (95% CI, 0.87–0.96) for a 3-point increment in the score. Inverse associations were observed for colon and rectal cancers and were consistent in strata of sex, age, and other major covariates.


A higher adherence to a DRRD was inversely associated with colorectal cancer risk.


Given the high incidence and mortality rates of colorectal cancer, adherence to a DRRD can have relevant prevention and public health implications.

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