The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, EPIC, was designed to investigate the relationships between diet, nutritional status, lifestyle and environmental factors, and the incidence of cancer and other chronic diseases. Detailed information on diet and lifestyle was obtained by questionnaire, anthropometric measurements (e.g., weight, height, and fat distribution), and blood samples.
Between 1993 and 1999, EPIC recruited over half a million (521,000) people aged 20 years or over in ten European countries: Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. First results were presented in 2001.
- The hypothesis that a diet high in fiber reduces colorectal cancer risk has been reinforced.
- The hypotheses that consumption of red and processed meat increases colorectal cancer risk while intake of fish decreases risk has been strongly supported.
- In addition, alcohol intake, obesity, and low physical activity increase the risk of colorectal cancer.
- The consumption of fruit and vegetables is not associated with breast and prostate cancer risk.
- Being overweight and having low physical activity increase breast cancer risk after menopause.
It is planned to follow up the study participants, continuing to study the role of nutrition and lifestyle in cancer development and other chronic diseases.
Riboli E., Lambert A. Nutrition and lifestyle: Opportunities for Cancer Prevention. IARC Sci. Publ. No.156. 2002.