Purpose: Both genetic and lifestyle factors contribute to the risk of colorectal cancer, but each individual factor has a limited effect. Therefore, we investigated the association between colorectal cancer and the combined effects of genetic factors or/and lifestyle risk factors.
Materials and methods: In a case-control study of 632 colorectal cancer patients and 1,295 healthy controls, we quantified the genetic risk score for colorectal cancer using 13 polymorphisms. Furthermore, we determined a combined lifestyle risk score including obesity, physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption, and dietary inflammatory index. The associations between colorectal cancer and risk score using these factors were examined using a logistic regression model.
Results: Higher genetic risk scores were associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer (odds ratio [OR], 2.57; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.89 to 3.49 for the highest tertile vs. lowest tertile). Among the modifiable factors, previous body mass index, physical inactivity, heavy alcohol consumption, and a high inflammatory diet were associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. A higher lifestyle risk score was associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer (OR, 5.82; 95% CI, 4.02 to 8.44 for the highest tertile vs. lowest tertile). This association was similar in each genetic risk category.
Conclusion: Adherence to a healthy lifestyle is associated with a substantially reduced risk of colorectal cancer regardless of individuals' genetic risk.
Keywords: Colorectal cancer; Genes; Lifestyle; Risk score.