A case-control study on dietary risk factors for colorectal cancer in Morocco

Colorectal Cancer

Imad FE, et al. Pan Afr Med J 2020.


INTRODUCTION: given its frequency and severity, colorectal cancer is a major public health problem. Diet plays a key role in preventing this type of cancer. The purpose of our study was to determine dietary risk factors for colorectal cancer in our Moroccan context.

METHODS: we conducted a case-control study including patients with colorectal cancer compared with controls. The statistical analysis of results was carried out using R software.

RESULTS: our study included 225 patients treated for cancer at the Mohammed VI Hospital Center and 225 controls. The average age of our study population at the time of diagnosis was 55.49±14.06 years, including 119 men (52.9%) and 106 women (47.1%) with a sex ratio of 1.12. Associations were found between the highest intakes of red meats, cold meats, sausages and the risk of colorectal cancer (p = 0.0001) with F4 (4-7 times / week) vs F1 (never): OR = 4.4 (1.6-11.9); (p = 0.001), OR = 1.7 (0.5-5.7); (p = 0.003), OR = 5.7 (1.2-27.4)). On the other hand, consumption of fish was associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer (p = 0.0001; OR = 0.3 (0.11-0.7)), while consumption of poultry and grilled eggs was not associated with colorectal cancer. We also found that consumption of fresh vegetables and cooked vegetables was low in patients compared to controls (p = 0.0001). Furthermore, a high intake of black coffee was associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer (p = 0.0001; F4 vs F1: OR = 0.2 (0.1-0.4)).

CONCLUSION: our study highlights that dietary changes can prevent or impede the growth of colorectal cancer. It is essential to promote balanced diet, rich in fish, vegetables, fruits and fibers without exceeding recommended levels of red meat and avoiding cold meats and sausages.