The role of diet-associated inflammation in colorectal cancer is of interest. Accordingly, we aimed to examine whether the dietary inflammatory index (DII) was associated with the risk of colorectal cancer in a case-control study conducted in Korea. The DII was based on dietary intake, which was determined by a 106-item semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire completed by 923 colorectal cancer cases and 1846 controls. Logistic regression was used to estimate odd ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Subgroup analyses were conducted by the anatomical site of the cancer, sex, and other risk factors. Higher DII scores were associated with an increased incidence of colorectal cancer (OR (95% CI) = 2.16 (1.71, 2.73) for highest vs. lowest tertile). The magnitude differed by anatomical site and sex. This association was slightly weaker in subjects with proximal colon cancer (1.68 (1.08, 2.61)) and was stronger in women (2.50 (1.64, 3.82)). Additionally, stronger associations were observed in subjects who were older than 50 years (p
for interaction = 0.004) and engaged in physical activity (p
for interaction < 0.001). Results from this study suggest that diet-associated inflammation may increase the risk of colorectal cancer, and this effect may differ by certain factors, such as anatomical site, age, sex, and lifestyle.
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