Prevalence of healthy lifestyles against cancer in Spanish women

Sci Rep. 2019 Jul 23;9(1):10638. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-47180-x.


Modifying behavior towards healthier lifestyles could prevent a significant number of malignant tumors. We evaluated the prevalence of healthy habits against cancer in Spanish women free of this disease, taking as a reference the recommendations for cancer prevention included in the European Code Against Cancer (ECAC), and we explored the characteristics associated with it. Our population comprised 3,584 women recruited in a population-based cross-sectional study carried out in 7 breast cancer screening programs. Information was directly surveyed and used to calculate a score based on ECAC recommendations referred to bodyweight, physical activity, diet, breastfeeding, tobacco, alcohol and hormone replacement therapy use. The degree of adherence was estimated with a score that evaluated null (0 points), partial (0.5 points) and full adherence (1 point) of each specific recommendation. Associations were explored using binary and ordinal logistic regression models. The median score was 5.7 out of 9 points. Recommendations with lower adherence were those related to intake of red/processed meat and foods high in salt (23% of total adherence), physical activity (24%) and body weight (29%), and recommendations with greater adherence where those related to hormone replacement therapy use (91%), vegetable intake (84%), alcohol (83%) and tobacco (61%). Overall adherence was better among older women, parous women, and in those living in rural areas, and worse among women with higher caloric intake. These recommendations should be evaluated periodically. Screening programs can be an appropriate place to disseminate this information.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet
  • Early Detection of Cancer*
  • Energy Intake
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Healthy Lifestyle*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Report
  • Smoking
  • Spain / epidemiology