Lifestyle in patients at increased risk of colorectal cancer

Annie S. Anderson (Lead / Corresponding author), Stephen Caswell, Craig Mowat, Judith A. Strachan, R. J. C. Steele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To assess modifiable risk factors in patients at high risk for colorectal cancer (CRC) and their experience of lifestyle advice.

Method: A questionnaire study 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 were queried.

Results: In total, 385 study invitations were sent and 208 (54%) questionnaires were returned. The majority of participants (72%) were estimated to have a BMI outwith 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 4 recommendations and 2% adhering to all recommendations examined. The main area which participants reported receiving advice on was body weight (33%) and 31% reported 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 to 26%) and seeking (15 to 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%).

Conclusion: The development of a process for supporting lifestyle change in this patient group, who are already engaging in positive health practices (regular colonoscopy surveillance) could usefully be identified and tested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-577
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Issue number5
Early online date28 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019



  • Diet
  • Obesity
  • Lifestyle
  • Cancer

Cite this