Washington, DC, July 5, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A new study led by a team from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), conducted in collaboration with the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) ) and published in Current Developments in Nutrition, examined health behaviors and mortality risk in a cohort of more than 175,000 older Americans (50-71 years of age at enrollment). They found that following a lifestyle aligned with the 2018 WCRF/AICR Recommendations for Cancer Prevention was associated with a significant reduction in the risk of all-cause, cancer-specific, and cardiovascular mortality.
And the changes in risk were substantial. The WCRF/AICR 2018 Score is a standardized seven-point scoring system based on 10 evidence-based cancer prevention recommendations published by WCRF/AICR in 2018 focused on modifiable lifestyle factors, including weight, physical activity, dietary factors and alcohol consumption. This study found that each one-point increase in the 2018 WCRF/AICR score was associated with a 9% to 26% reduction in mortality risk, except for cancer mortality risk in current male smokers; the strongest associations were seen in former smokers.
When high scores were compared with low scores, older adults who scored 5 to 7 points were 43 to 62 percent less likely to die from all causes compared to those with scores of 0 to 2 points. The results differed by gender and smoking status, with the strongest associations again in former smokers. Findings were similar for cancer and CVD-specific mortality. Associations with cancer and CVD-specific mortality were not significant among male current smokers, although this might have been affected by the relatively small sample of current smokers in the study; it also supports that smoking remains an important modifiable risk factor for mortality risk.
Marissa Shams-White, Principal Investigator and Program Director in the Risk Assessment Branch of the National Cancer Institute, said: “Overall, these results support the current evidence for the beneficial impact of healthy lifestyles in older adults. It’s never too late to change everyday behaviors.”
Physical activity, body weight, alcohol, and plant-based food intake (fruits and vegetables, and fiber) were found to be predominant components in the score and had the greatest effect on outcomes in this study population. However, these components were not necessarily the only important factors, but rather provide context for the main contributors to mortality risk in this population of older adults, who were relatively healthy, with high mean 2018 WCRF/AICR scores.
“Other score components related to intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, ultra-processed foods, and red and processed meats may have different associations with mortality risk in other populations, such as among younger adults, cancer survivors, or those with pre-existing diseases. cardiovascular diseases. It’s important to continue to consider the 2018 WCRF/AICR cancer prevention recommendations together as a whole,” he said. Shams-White.
Nigel Brockton, vice president for research at the American Institute for Cancer Research, said: “This study shows the significant impact of lifestyle factors on living a longer and healthier life. Following these simple evidence-based cancer prevention recommendations that are within our control is associated with better cardiovascular, overall, and cancer-specific survival in older adults.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US, but more than half of cancer deaths can be prevented through healthy choices, screening screening and vaccinations. These results underscore the importance of following the AICR’s 10 cancer prevention recommendations to reduce cancer risk and mortality. An easy way for Americans to incorporate the Cancer Prevention Recommendations into their lives is by starting the Healthy10 Challenge, AICR’s 10-week interactive program that helps develop healthy lifestyle habits. Each week presents a different challenge to help Americans eat better, be more active and reduce alcohol consumption. Weekly emails include motivational exercise tips, nutritious recipes, and nutritional guidance.
About the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR)
Our vision: We want to live in a world where no one develops preventable cancer.
Our Mission: The American Institute for Cancer Research champions the latest, most authoritative scientific research from around the world on cancer prevention and survival through diet, weight, and physical activity, so we can help people to make informed lifestyle choices to reduce your risk of cancer. .
We have contributed more than $110 million to groundbreaking research conducted at universities, hospitals, and research centers throughout the Americas. Find evidence-based tools and information to reduce cancer risk, including AICR’s Recommendations for Cancer Prevention, at aicr.org.