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The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) publish recommendations for cancer prevention. The present study aimed to estimate the association between adherence to these cancer-specific prevention recommendations and subsequent development of cancer in a prospective cohort.
A composite adherence score was constructed based on questionnaire data to reflect overall adherence to WCRF/AICR lifestyle-related recommendations on body fatness, physical activity, diet and alcoholic drinks. Multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to assess the association (hazard ratio; 95 % CI) between the adherence score and risk of developing cancer.
Alberta’s Tomorrow Project, a prospective cohort study.
Men and women (n 25 100, mean age at enrolment 50·5 years) recruited between 2001 and 2009 with no previous cancer diagnosis were included in analyses.
Cancer cases (n 2066) were identified during a mean follow-up of 11·7 years. Participants who were most adherent to the selected WCRF/AICR recommendations (composite score: 4–6) were 13 % (0·87; 0·78, 0·98) less likely to develop cancer compared with those who were least adherent (composite score: 0–2). Each additional recommendation met corresponded to a 5 % (0·95; 0·91, 0·99) reduction in risk of developing cancer. When stratified by sex, the associations remained significant for women, but not for men.
Adherence to lifestyle-related cancer prevention recommendations was associated with reduced risk of developing cancer over the follow-up term in this Canadian cohort.
To explore cross-sectional adherence to cancer prevention recommendations by adults enrolled in a prospective cohort in Alberta, Canada.
Questionnaire data were used to construct a composite cancer prevention adherence score for each participant, based on selected personal recommendations published by the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (2007). Data were self-reported on health and lifestyle, past-year physical activity and past-year FFQ. The scores accounted for physical activity, dietary supplement use, body size, and intakes of alcohol, fruit, vegetables and red meat. Tobacco exposure was also included. Scores ranged from 0 (least adherent) to 7 (most adherent).
Alberta’s Tomorrow Project; a research platform based on a prospective cohort.
Adult men and women (n 24 988) aged 35–69 years recruited by random digit dialling and enrolled in Alberta’s Tomorrow Project between 2001 and 2009.
Of the cohort, 14 % achieved adherence scores ≥5 and 60 % had scores ≤3. Overall adherence scores were higher in women (mean (sd): 3·4 (1·1)) than in men (3·0 (1·2)). The extent of overall adherence was also associated with level of education, employment status, annual household income, personal history of chronic disease, family history of chronic disease and age.
Reported adherence to selected personal recommendations for cancer prevention was low in this cohort of adults. In the short to medium term, these results suggest that more work is required to identify behaviours to target with cancer prevention strategies at a population level. Future work will explore the associations between adherence scores and cancer risk in this cohort.
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