MONDAY, Oct. 29, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Colorectal cancer (CRC) patients who follow healthy diets before or after diagnosis have a decreased risk for mortality, according to a study published online Oct. 19 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Mark A. Guinter, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues evaluated associations of diet quality pre- and post-diagnosis with risk for mortality among men and women with CRC. Data were available for 2,671 participants pre-diagnosis and 1,321 participants post-diagnosis. Diet quality was assessed through adherence to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), American Cancer Society nutrition guidelines (ACS score), prudent diet, and Western dietary patterns.

The researchers found that pre-diagnosis ACS score was inversely associated with all-cause (hazard ratio high versus low [HRHighvLow], 0.78; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.65 to 0.95) and CRC-specific (HRHighvLow, 0.74; 95 percent CI, 0.54 to 1.03) mortality. The Western diet score was associated with higher all-cause mortality (HRHighvLow, 1.3). The ACS score was associated with a lower risk for all-cause (HRHighvLow, 0.62) and CRC-specific (HRHighvLow, 0.35) mortality post-diagnosis, as were the post-diagnosis DASH score (all-cause: HRHighvLow, 0.79; CRC-specific: HRHighvLow, 0.56) and the prudent score (all-cause mortality: HRHighvLow, 0.72). Among participants with a low diet quality before diagnosis, improvement in DASH (HR, 0.54) and prudent scores (HR, 0.53) was associated with lower CRC-specific mortality.

“Dietary patterns reflective of high intakes of plant foods and low intakes of animal products before and after CRC diagnosis are associated with longer survival,” conclude the authors.

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