Adherence to a healthy lifestyle protects against colorectal polyps
A healthy lifestyle appears to lower the risk of developing colorectal polyps, particularly serrated and distal polyps, with no dose–response association, suggests a study. Maintaining a healthy diet and abstinence from smoking are the two components most strongly associated with the reduced risk.
“Lifestyle-related characteristics may assist in risk stratification and are potential goals for colorectal neoplasia prevention,” the authors said.
Of the 788 participants included, 403 were cases and 385 were controls. The healthy lifestyle index was inversely associated with colorectal polyps (odds ratio [OR], 0.72, 0.62–0.85; p<0.001), both adenomas (OR, 0.75, 0.64–0.89) and serrated polyps (OR, 0.59, 0.44–0.79), and both proximal (OR, 0.77, 0.62–0.95) and distal adenomas (OR, 0.73, 0.59–0.90).
Adherence to two or more healthy lifestyle components was strongly associated with a lower risk of developing colorectal polyps (OR, 0.50, 0.34–0.75; p=0.001), and the two factors most robustly associated with the reduced risk were abstinence from smoking (OR, 0.58, 0.42–0.79) and a healthy diet (OR, 0.61, 0.44–0.85).
The authors conducted a case–control study among consecutive patients aged 40–70 years, who were undergoing colonoscopy, and compared cases of colorectal polyps with controls. They obtained data regarding polyp histology and anatomic location, demographics, medical history, anthropometrics, and lifestyle. The healthy lifestyle index was estimated as the sum of the following: nonsmoking, maintaining a healthy weight, healthy diet and physical activity.
“Colorectal cancer is associated with lifestyle characteristics such as diet, physical inactivity, obesity and smoking, but these are not incorporated in screening recommendations,” the authors said. “Moreover, the joint association of these factors with various colorectal polyps is not established.”