The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) has designed an index score based on recommendations for cancer prevention of the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR). We aimed to investigate whether concordance with the specific guidelines for colorectal (CRC) prevention was related to this cancer in an adult population of the Basque Country.
The present study included 310 cases and 310 controls randomly selected, all of them participants from the CRC screening program in the Basque Country (Spain), aged 50–69 years. At recruitment, dietary, anthropometric, and lifestyle information was collected through a questionnaire. A score was constructed based on the WCRF/AICR recommendations (2007) and the convincing evidences of association between lifestyle factors and CRC (WCRF/AICR, 2011). The recommendations used for the construction of the score were: physical activity (PA), dietary fibre, red meat and processed meat, alcoholic drinks and body fatness. The total score range was 0 to 5. Higher scores indicated greater concordance with recommendations. All analysis were conducted on SPSS v. 22.0.
The mean score (2.7) was similar for cases and controls (Z = -0.21, P > 0.05). The scores for dietary fibre were higher in controls (0.6(0.3)) than in cases (0.5(0.3)) (P = 0.013); whereas, the scores for PA were higher in cases (0.2(0.3)) than in controls (0.1(0.2)) (P 0.05), alcoholic drinks (Z = 0.00, P > 0.05) and body fatness (Z = -0.52, P > 0.05).
The results of this study suggest that following the recommendations on dietary fibre for cancer prevention could be associated with a lower risk of CRC in this population. The differences in PA scores could be due to lifestyle changes after the diagnosis. More research is needed to elucidate the potential lifestyle risk factors for CRC and how modification of these lifestyle factors could prevent it.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Dr. Marta Arroyo-Izaga
Department of Health, Basque Country Government (2011111153) and Saiotek (S-PE12UNO058, a pre-doctoral grant from the Basque Government (PRE_2015_2_0084)
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.