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Dis Colon Rectum. 2012 Mar;55(3):337-44. doi: 10.1097/DCR.0b013e318241199e.

Iron biomarkers in plasma, HFE genotypes, and the risk for colorectal cancer in a prospective setting.

Author information

1
Unit of Clinical Chemistry, Department of Medical Biosciences, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden. kim.ekblom@medbio.umu.se

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

High iron levels can increase the formation of noxious oxygen radicals, which are thought to promote carcinogenesis.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this prospective study was to determine whether iron biomarkers and HFE genotypes, which influence iron regulation, constitute risk factors for colorectal cancer.

DESIGN:

This is a prospective nested case-referent study.

SETTINGS:

The study was performed within the population-based Northern Sweden Health and Disease Study.

PATIENTS:

The study included 226 cases of colorectal cancer and 437 matched referents.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Conditional regression analysis was performed. Adjustments for smoking, smoking and BMI, and HFE C282Y and H63D were performed.

RESULTS:

The highest quintile of total iron-binding capacity showed significantly higher risk for colorectal cancer, unadjusted OR 2.35 (95% CI 1.38-4.02). When stratified by sex, the findings were only present in women (OR 3.34 (95% CI 1.59-7.02)). Ferritin was associated with reduced risk throughout quintiles 2 to 5 both in univariate and multivariate models.

LIMITATIONS:

Colorectal cancer may influence iron markers because of occult bleeding. Homozygotes for HFE C282Y were too few to make conclusions for this group. The relatively short follow-up time might be insufficient to detect risk of iron biomarkers.

CONCLUSIONS:

High iron levels do not increase the risk of colorectal cancer. HFE genotypes influencing iron uptake had no effect on colorectal cancer risk.

PMID:
22469802
DOI:
10.1097/DCR.0b013e318241199e
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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