Table 2.

Participant characteristics of colorectal cancer cases and noncolorectal cancer cases, the VITAL Study (n = 76,512)

CharacteristicColorectal cancer cases (n = 428)Controls* (n = 76,084)
Age at baseline (y), n (%)
    50-5987 (20)35,185 (46)
    60-69190 (44)26,336 (35)
    ≥70151 (35)14,563 (19)
    Mean ± SD66.3 (6.7)61.9 (7.4)
Gender, n (%)
    Female208 (49)39,568 (52)
    Male220 (51)36,516 (48)
Race, n (%)
    Non-White37 (9)5,083 (7)
    White383 (91)69,964 (93)
Education, n (%)
    ≤High school education143 (34)14,969 (20)
    Some college146 (35)28,679 (38)
    College graduate/advanced degree132 (31)31,142 (42)
Smoking status, n (%)
    Never163 (39)35,922 (48)
    Former, quit ≥10 y182 (43)27,933 (37)
    Former, quit <10 y36 (9)5,025 (7)
    Current41 (10)6,352 (8)
Physical activity (MET-h/wk)
    No exercise68 (16)11,245 (15)
    1st Quartile (0.01-3.02)105 (25)15,947 (21)
    2nd Quartile (3.03-8.06)92 (22)15,928 (21)
    3rd Quartile (8.07-17.81)72 (17)15,958 (21)
    4th Quartile (>17.81)78 (19)15,959 (21)
BMI category (kg/m2)
    Underweight (<18.5)8 (2)656 (1)
    Normal (18.5-24.9)112 (28)24,296 (34)
    Overweight (25-29.9)160 (40)29,636 (41)
    Obese (≥30)122 (30)17,747 (25)
Vegetables (servings/d)
    1st Quartile (0-1.33)102 (27)17,151 (25)
    2nd Quartile (1.34-1.97)105 (28)17,168 (25)
    3rd Quartile (1.98-2.88)86 (23)17,220 (25)
    4th Quartile (>2.88)81 (22)17,179 (25)
Fruits (servings/d)
    1st Quartile (0-0.75)98 (26)17,178 (25)
    2nd Quartile (0.76-1.34)98 (26)17,177 (25)
    3rd Quartile (1.35-2.31)105 (28)17,157 (25)
    4th Quartile (>2.31)72 (19)17,197 (25)
Use of nonfiber laxatives
    Never/<1/y315 (81)60,856 (86)
    1-4 times/y53 (14)6,192 (9)
    5-11 times/y12 (3)1,858 (3)
    1-3 times/mo7 (2)924 (1)
    ≥1 time/wk3 (1)732 (1)
NSAID use (4+ times/wk, 4+ y), n (%)
    No321 (77)54,748 (74)
    Yes94 (23)19,736 (26)
Sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy in the past 10 y, n (%)
    No232 (55)32,641 (43)
    Yes191 (45)42,794 (57)
Current use a multivitamin, n (%)
    No182 (43)32,100 (42)
    Yes246 (57)43,974 (58)
Medical history, n (%)
    Prior cancer
    No312 (73)61,322 (81)
    Yes116 (27)14,762 (19)
    Polyp removed from colon
    No370 (86)66,406 (87)
    Yes58 (14)9,678 (13)
    Arthritis
    No300 (70)53,469 (70)
    Yes128 (30)22,598 (30)
Family history of colorectal cancer, n (%)
    No354 (85)66,534 (89)
    Yes63 (15)8,556 (11)
  • NOTE: All characteristics had <5% missing data and percentages are of the total. Numbers may not sum to the total and percentages may not add up to 100% because of missing data and/or rounding.

  • * Controls refer to the noncolorectal cancer cases.

  • Multivitamin users who responded “sometimes” were included in the “yes” category.

  • Family history of colorectal cancer was defined as one or more first-degree relative with colorectal cancer.