Patients with colorectal cancer (n=796) comprised the primary patient cohort for this study. Three groups of controls were generated from the same database for separate comparison with the CRC cohort. These included all patients with non-CRC cancers (control group one: n=7,273), patients with non-CRC and tobacco-related cancers (control group two: n=1,844), and patients with benign disorders (control group three: n=74). Multivariate analysis of 7,641 patients was performed by adjusting for age, gender, body mass index and economic status.
Vegetarianism was significantly associated with patients over 65 years, male gender, body mass index (BMI) of less than 20 Kg/m2 and economic deprivation. Colorectal cancer was positively associated with old age and male gender, and inversely associated with vegetarian diet, low BMI and economic deprivation. The inverse association of CRC and lifelong vegetarianism was observed with all the three control groups.
"A well-planned vegetarian diet is a healthy way to meet your nutritional needs," said Yogesh M. Shastri, M.D., of Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Hospital, Frankfurt, Germany and previously a co-author of this study at TMH, Mumbai, India. "The exact mechanism by which life long vegetarianism may reduce the risk of sporadic CRC needs further investigation. Prolonged vegetarianism starting in early life may be a viable lifestyle option for those at risk of developing the disease."
Dr. Shastri will present this study on Sunday, May 20, at 11:45 a.m. in Room 143A.