B138: The association of red and processed meat, and dietary fibre with colorectal cancer in UK Biobank

Kathryn Bradbury1,Tim Key1

1University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Presenting date: Tuesday 3 November


There are many hypotheses about the role of diet in the development of colorectal cancer, but many uncertainties remain. Up to date information on the associations between dietary factors and colorectal cancer incidence in UK adults is needed.


UK Biobank is a prospective cohort of 500,000 men and women aged 40-69 years recruited from the UK in 2006-2010. Participants reported their frequency of consumption of meat and other foods on a questionnaire at recruitment, and a sub-sample of participants completed at least one 24-hour recall. An estimate of fibre intake was derived from the questionnaire and calibrated using the 24-hour recalls. Cases of colorectal cancer were identified through linkage with the National Health Service Central Registers. Cox regression was used to estimate adjusted relative risks (RRs) by the reported frequency of consumption of meat and fibre for colorectal cancer.


During a median of 3.8 years of follow-up, 1,503 cases of colorectal cancer occurred. The RR for consumption of red meat 4 or more times a week vs less than once a week = 1.42, 95% CI: 1.13-1.80, ptrend = 0.001; the RR for red and processed meat 7 or more times per week vs once a week or less = 1.40, 95% CI: 1.08-1.81, ptrend = 0.016; the RR for processed meat 2 or more times per week vs never = 1.18, 95% CI: 0.94-1.47, ptrend = 0.119). Estimated consumption of fibre was not significantly associated with colorectal cancer incidence (RR for highest fifth vs lowest fifth = 0.90, 95% CI: 0.76-1.07, ptrend = 0.241).


In these preliminary analyses from UK Biobank, consumption of red meat was associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Consumption of processed meat and fibre were not significantly associated with colorectal cancer.