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Vitamin D deficiency more strongly associated with rectal than colon cancer – Mar 2011

Circulating levels of vitamin D and colon and rectal cancer: the Physicians' Health Study and a meta-analysis of prospective studies.

Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2011 Mar 23.
Lee JE, Li H, Chan AT, Hollis BW, Lee IM, Stampfer MJ, Wu K, Giovannucci E, Ma J.
1Department of Food and Nutrition, Sookmyung Women's University.

It remains unknown whether increased risk with low levels of vitamin D is present for colon and/or rectal cancer. To investigate the association between circulating vitamin D levels and colon and rectal cancer, we examined the associations between plasma levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D) and colon and rectal cancer in the Physicians' Health Study and then conducted a meta-analysis of eight prospective studies of circulating levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and colon and rectal cancers, including the Physicians' Health Study.

Study-specific odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were pooled using a random-effects model. A total of 1822 colon and 868 rectal cancers were included in the meta-analysis.

We observed a significant inverse association for colorectal cancer (OR = 0.66; 95% CI = 0.54-0.81), comparing top versus bottom quantiles of circulating 25(OH)D levels. The inverse association was stronger for rectal cancer (OR = 0.50 for top versus bottom quantiles; 95% CI = 0.28-0.88) than colon cancer (OR = 0.77; 95% CI = 0.56-1.07; P for difference between colon and rectal cancer = 0.20).

These data suggest an inverse association between circulating 25(OH)D levels and colorectal cancer, with a stronger association for rectal cancer.

PMID: 21430073
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