Original Article

Can Opium Use Contribute to a Higher Risk of Colorectal Cancers? A Matched Case-control Study in Iran


Background: Colorectal cancers (CRCs) including colon, rectum and anal cancers are the third most prevalent cancers in the world. There are strong evidence showing the risk of the cigarette smoking, alcohol use, low physical activity and some types of diets in CRCs; however, few studies explored the relationship between opium use and CRCs. This study aimed to investigate the association between opioid use and the incidence of CRCs.

Methods: In a population-based matched case-control study in Kerman, Iran, 175 patients with colorectal cancers and 350 healthy controls (matched for age, sex, and place of residence) were interviewed from Sep 2014 to Nov 2014. Opium and its derivatives, cigarette, alcohol, and diet use were collected using a valid and reliable questionnaire. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals.

Results: The use of opioids was associated with an increased risk of CRCs (adjusted odds ratio= 4. 5, 95% CI: 2. 4-8. 7). In addition, a dose-response relationship was observed between the cumulative use of opioids and the incidence of CRCs (with low use OR=3. 7; 95% CI: 1. 5-8. 6 and high use OR= 8. 0; 95% CI: 2. 9-21. 7). This dose-response relationship was also strong in patients with colon cancers, with OR= 3. 9 (95% CI: 1. 5-9. 9) and 9. 4 (95% CI: 3. 3-27. 0) for the low and high uses of opioids, respectively.

Conclusion: Opioid use can lead to an increased risk of CRCs. Therefore, it is necessary to implement preventive policies to control the use of opioids.



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IssueVol 45 No 10 (2016) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
Risk factor Colorectal cancers Opioid Case-control Iran

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NAGHIBZADEH-TAHAMI A, YAZDI FEYZABADI V, KHANJANI N, ASHRAFI-ASGARABAD A, ALIZAEH H, BORHANINEJAD VR, MORADI-JOO M, ZEINALI M, ZAHEDI MJ, AGHAEE-AFSHAR M, HAGHDOOST AA. Can Opium Use Contribute to a Higher Risk of Colorectal Cancers? A Matched Case-control Study in Iran. Iran J Public Health. 2016;45(10):1322-1331.