(HealthDay News) — People with Lynch syndrome have a higher risk of developing early colon cancer if they eat a diet heavy on snacks such as fried foods and sodas, according to a study published online Dec. 17 in Cancer.

Akke Botma, Ph.D., from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, and colleagues assessed dietary intake via a food frequency questionnaire in 486 patients with Lynch syndrome. Four dietary patterns were identified: “Prudent” (heavy on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, yogurt, low-fat cheese, poultry, fish, and tea); “Meat” (heavy on poultry, beef, pork, processed meat, coffee); “Snack” (heavy on chips, snacks, spring rolls, butter, sweets, and diet sodas); and “Cosmopolitan” (heavy on leafy vegetables, tomatoes, refined grains, fish, cream, wine).

The researchers found that colorectal adenomas developed in 58 patients over a median follow-up of 20 months. After adjusting for factors including age and smoking, the highest third intake of “Prudent” had a lower risk of adenomas than the lowest third (hazard ratio [HR], 0.73); the highest third intake of “Meat” had a higher risk than the lowest third (HR, 1.70); the highest third intake of “Snack” had an even higher risk than the lowest third (HR, 2.16); and the highest third intake of “Cosmopolitan” had a somewhat higher risk than the lowest third (HR, 1.25).

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“These findings suggest that dietary patterns may be associated with development of colorectal adenoma in patients with Lynch syndrome,” Botma and colleagues conclude. “The directions of these findings are corroborative with those observed in studies investigating sporadic colorectal cancer.”

One author is a member of the scientific board of Sensus, part of Royal Cosun (food industry).

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