Lifestyle in patients at increased risk of colorectal cancer

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Anderson et al., JHND Early View Unknown


The present study aimed to assess modifiable risk factors in patients at high risk for colorectal cancer (CRC) and their experience of lifestyle advice.


A questionnaire study was conducted in high‐risk CRC patients attending for surveillance colonoscopy. Current lifestyle behaviours [smoking, alcohol, diet (fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, red meat, processed meat), physical activity and bodyweight] related to CRC were ascertained, and experience on receiving, seeking and desire for advice was queried.


In total, 385 study invitations were sent and 208 (54%) questionnaires were returned. The majority of participants (72%) were estimated to have a body mass index beyond the healthy range, 89% achieved a fibre score indicative of a low plant‐based diet and 91% reported eating processed meat. Overall, 36% were achieving at least four recommendations and 2% were adhering to all recommendations examined. The main area in which participants reported receiving advice on was body weight (33%) and 31% reported that they had personally sought information on this topic, although the data suggest that 72% of people may benefit from such guidance. Fewer participants reported receiving (18–26%) and seeking (15–17%) dietary advice on fruits, vegetables and wholegrains. Many participants said they would find lifestyle information useful, notably in relation to body fatness (43%) and physical activity (38%).


The development of a process for supporting lifestyle change in this patient group, comprising individuals who are already engaging in positive health practices (regular colonoscopy surveillance), could usefully be identified and tested.

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