Lifestyle predictors for inconsistent participation to fecal based colorectal cancer screening

BMC Cancer. 2022 Feb 15;22(1):172. doi: 10.1186/s12885-022-09287-9.


Background: Consistent participation in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening with repeated fecal immunochemical test (FIT) is important for the success of the screening program. We investigated whether lifestyle risk factors for CRC were related to inconsistent participation in up to four rounds of FIT-screening.

Method: We included data from 3,051 individuals who participated in up to four FIT-screening rounds and returned a lifestyle questionnaire. Using logistic regression analyses, we estimated associations between smoking habits, body mass index (BMI), physical activity, alcohol consumption, diet and a healthy lifestyle score (from least favorable 0 to most favorable 5), and inconsistent participation (i.e. not participating in all rounds of eligible FIT screening invitations).

Results: Altogether 721 (24%) individuals were categorized as inconsistent participants Current smoking and BMI ≥30 kg/m2 were associated with inconsistent participation; odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were 1.54 (1.21-2.95) and 1.54 (1.20-1.97), respectively. A significant trend towards inconsistent participation by a lower healthy lifestyle score was observed (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: Lifestyle behaviors were associated with inconsistent participation in FIT-screening. Initiatives aimed at increasing participation rates among those with the unhealthiest lifestyle have a potential to improve the efficiency of screening.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Diet / psychology
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data
  • Early Detection of Cancer / psychology
  • Early Detection of Cancer / statistics & numerical data*
  • Exercise / psychology
  • Exercise / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Healthy Lifestyle
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Occult Blood
  • Odds Ratio
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires