People with a high polygenic risk score for colorectal cancer may benefit more from preventing the disease by leading healthy lifestyles than those with a low genetic risk, according to a study by researchers at Vanderbilt published in the April issue. of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Analyzing data from UK Biobank participants, researchers estimated that maintaining a healthy lifestyle was associated with an almost 40% reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer in people at high genetic risk of developing disease. The percentage has fallen to only about 25% among people at low genetic risk for this cancer. People with high genetic risk and unhealthy lifestyles were more than three times more likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer than those with low genetic risk and healthy lifestyles.
“The results of this study could be useful in designing personalized prevention strategies for the prevention of colorectal cancer,” said Wei Zheng, MD, PhD, MPH, Anne Potter Wilson professor of medicine and associate director of science research. population at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC).
In the analysis, unhealthy, intermediate, and healthy lifestyle scores were determined based on waist-to-hip ratio, physical activity, sedentary time, consumption of processed and red meat, consumption of vegetables and fruits, alcohol consumption and smoking. Polygenic risk scores are used to measure genetic susceptibility to colorectal cancer. Vanderbilt researchers constructed polygenic risk scores using genetic variants associated with colorectal cancer risk identified in recent large genetic studies involving more than 120,000 study participants. They also built polygenetic risk scores for several other common cancers in research published last year in JNCI Cancer Spectrum.
The study recently published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is one of the few to quantify the potential interactions of overall lifestyle with genetic susceptibility to colorectal cancer.
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Material provided by Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Original written by Tom Wilemon. Note: Content can be changed for style and length.