The study was published in the April issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
“Results from this study could be useful to design personalized prevention strategies for colorectal cancer prevention,” said Dr. Wei Zheng, MD an Anne Potter Wilson Professor of Medicine and associate director for Population Sciences Research at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.
Colorectal cancer mostly occurs in people over 50, according to Cancer.net, a website that includes doctor-approved patient information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Still, the incidence rate for colorectal cancer has dropped by around 3.6% a year in adults 55 and older. Colorectal cancer also affects younger adults, however, and the incidence rate has grown by 2% yearly in adults under 55.
For the current study, researchers categorized lifestyle scores as unhealthy, intermediate and healthy. Factors such as physical activity, sedentary time, waist-to-hip ratio, eating processed and red meat, eating fruits and vegetables, alcohol consumption and tobacco use were considered. Genetic susceptibility to colorectal cancer was measured using polygenic risk scores.
Researchers measured polygenic risk scores using genetic variants linked to colorectal cancer risk. These were pinpointed in recent large genetic studies of over 120,000 participants. Additionally, researchers measured polygenetic risk scores for several other common cancers in previously published research.
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