• dietary pattern;
  • colorectal cancer;
  • subsite;
  • Japan


In order to investigate the associations between dietary patterns and the risk of colorectal cancer by subsite in Japan, the baseline data from a population-based cohort study of 20,300 men and 21,812 women were analyzed. We conducted factor analysis and identified 3 major dietary patterns, “healthy,” “traditional” and “Western,” and calculated the factor scores of each pattern for individuals. During 10 years of follow-up, 370 colorectal cancer cases were identified. We found a positive association between the traditional pattern and colon cancer risk in women [rate ratio for highest quartile (RR) = 2.06; 95% CI = 1.10–3.84; p for trend = 0.11], but not in men. This positive association was slightly stronger for proximal colon cancer (RR = 2.07; 95% CI = 0.84–5.12) than for distal colon cancer (RR = 1.84; 95% CI = 0.75–4.50). After multivariate adjustment, the Western dietary pattern was also positively associated with colon cancer risk in females (RR = 2.21; 95% CI = 1.10–4.45), with the strongest associations being observed for females with distal colon cancer (RR = 3.48; 95% CI = 1.25–9.65). We did not observe any significant association between the healthy dietary pattern and colon cancer risk. For rectal cancer, no significant associations were found for the 3 dietary patterns. In conclusion, we found that the traditional and the Western dietary patterns were positively associated with colon cancer risk in females. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.