A healthy lifestyle cuts colorectal cancer risk
Modifiable lifestyle behaviours, such as diet and exercise, significantly affect the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), a recent study has shown.
The study included 4,092 CRC patients (mean age 68.2±10.8 years; 60.8 percent male) and 3,032 healthy controls (mean age 68.2±10.4 years; 60.9 percent male), in whom a healthy lifestyle score was derived from five lifestyle behaviours: smoking, alcohol consumption, body fat, physical activity and diet. A genetic risk score based on 53 known variants was also included in the analysis.
Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that each individual modifiable factor was associated with a reduced risk of CRC: nonsmoking (odds ratio [OR], 0.82; 95 percent CI, 0.72–0.94), alcohol intake within the recommended levels (OR, 0.83; 0.74–0.94), a healthy diet (OR, 0.70; 0.63–0.78), physical activity meeting the recommended levels (OR, 0.88; 0.76–1.03) and a healthy body mass index (BMI; OR, 0.71; 0.63–0.79).
Moreover, those who meet two, three, four or five healthy lifestyle behaviours were significantly less likely to develop colorectal (p<0.0001), colon (p<0.0001) and rectal (p<0.0001) cancer than those who had none or one healthy lifestyle factor.
Similarly, each additional healthy lifestyle factor resulted in a significant drop in the risk of colorectal (OR, 0.77; 0.73–0.81), colon (OR, 0.77; 0.73–0.81) and rectal (OR, 0.77; 0.72–0.82) cancer.
In terms of population attributable fractions, 45 percent of all CRC cases could be accounted for by nonadherence to all five modifiable healthy lifestyle behaviours.