Use of folic acid-containing supplements after a diagnosis of colorectal cancer in the colon cancer family registry

Rebecca S. Holmes, Yingye Zheng, John A. Baron, Lin Li, Gail McKeown-Eyssen, Polly A. Newcomb, Mariana C. Stern, Robert W. Haile, William M. Grady, John D. Potter, Loic Le Marchand, Peter T. Campbell, Jane C. Figueiredo, Paul J. Limburg, Mark A. Jenkins, John L. Hopper, Cornelia M. Ulrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Supplement use among cancer patients is high, and folic acid intake in particular may adversely affect the progression of colorectal cancer. Few studies have evaluated the use of folic acid-containing supplements (FAS) and its predictors in colorectal cancer patients. Objective: To assess the use of FAS, change in use, and its predictors after colorectal cancer diagnosis. Design: We used logistic regression models to investigate predictors of FAS use and its initiation after colorectal cancer diagnosis in 1,092 patients recruited through the Colon Cancer Family Registry. Results: The prevalence of FAS use was 35.4% before and 55.1% after colorectal cancer diagnosis (P = 0.004). Women were more likely than men to use FAS after diagnosis [odds ratio (OR), 1.47; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 1.14-1.89], as were those consuming more fruit (Ptrend < 0.0001) or vegetables (Ptrend = 0.001), and U.S. residents (P < 0.0001). Less likely to use FAS after diagnosis were nonwhite patients (OR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.45-0.97), current smokers (OR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.46-0.96), and those with higher meat intake (Ptrend = 0.03). Predictors of FAS initiation after diagnosis were generally similar to those of FAS use after diagnosis, although associations with race and vegetable intake were weaker and those with exercise stronger. Conclusions: Our analysis showed substantial increases in the use of FAS after diagnosis with colorectal cancer, with use or initiation more likely among women, Caucasians, U.S. residents, and those with a healthpromoting life-style. Impact: Studies of cancer prognosis that rely on prediagnostic exposure information may result in substantial misclassification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2023-2034
Number of pages12
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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