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Pre-diagnosis lifestyle factors and colorectal cancer survival in the NIH-AARP diet and health study

Thursday, October 11, 2012 — Poster Session III

10:00 a.m. – Noon

Natcher Conference Center, Building 45



* FARE Award Winner


  • C Pelser
  • AR Hollenbeck
  • Y Park


Background: Few studies have addressed the relationship of modifiable factors to mortality among colorectal cancer survivors. Methods: Lifestyle factors were assessed at baseline (1995-1996). We identified 6,318 colorectal cancer cases through linkage to state cancer registries. We determined date and cause of death by linkage to the National Death Index. We examined relationships of healthy diet (upper two quintiles of Healthy Eating Index 2005 scores), body mass index (BMI), physical activity (≥20 minutes activity ≥ 3 times/week), alcohol, and smoking with total five-year mortality. We estimated relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) with Cox proportional hazards models. Results: Among 4,368 colon cancer survivors, 1,322 died during follow-up. Nonsmokers at baseline had a 40% lower risk of death (RR 0.59; 95% CI 0.51-0.69). Those who were obese at baseline had significantly increased risk of death (1.22; 1.05-1.42). Among 1,680 rectal cancer survivors, 468 deaths occurred. Healthy diet (0.77; 0.63-0.95) and nonsmoking (0.77; 0.60-0.99) were associated with lower total mortality. Conclusion: Several modifiable pre-diagnosis lifestyle factors were related to survival among colorectal cancer cases in this longitudinal cohort study. Further studies are warranted to examine the effect of changes in lifestyle factors after diagnosis on colorectal cancer prognosis and survival.

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