• Association Between Dietary Fibre and Cancer: A Case-Control Study

    September 2004, Volume 10 No. 2


    Association Between Dietary Fibre and Cancer: A Case-Control Study in Malaysia

    Suzana Shahar1, Azhar Yusoff2 & Fatimah Arshad1
    1 Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, 50300 Kuala Lumpur
    2 Family Health and Development Division, Department of Public Health, Ministry of Health, Tingkat 2, Blok B, Kompleks Pejabat-pejabat Kesihatan, Jalan Cenderasari, 50590 Kuala Lumpur

    A case control study to determine the association of dietary fibre and cancer among Malaysians. It was conducted among 100 newly-diagnosed cancer patients admitted to the Radiotherapy and Oncology Ward, Hospital Kuala Lumpur. A total of 100 controls matched with the cases for age, sex and ethnic origin were selected from the Outpatient Health Clinic in Sentul. The subjects were interviewed to obtain information on their habitual dietary intakes and lifestyles. Family history of cancer, smoking habits, and alcohol consumption were found to be significant risk factors for cancer (p<0.05 for all parameters). The mean intake of total energy was higher among men with nasopharyngeal cancer and women with gastrointestinal cancer as compared to their controls (p<0.05 for both parameters). The percentage of energy contribution from fat was higher among cases (35%) than controls (32.1%). The mean dietary fibre intake among cases (10.86 � 8.90 g/d) was apparently lower than the controls (13.22 � 5.99 g/d), with significant differences noted for breast cancer and also nasopharyngeal cancer. Women with low fibre intake (< 10g/d) had a 2.2 times higher risk of getting breast cancer. There is a need to educate the public to adhere to a wholesome diet, in particular to increase the consumption of high-fibre food for disease prevention.

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