Dietary behaviours of individuals with lynch syndrome at high risk of colorectal cancer: Results from the AAS-lynch study

Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2023 Oct:57:197-206. doi: 10.1016/j.clnesp.2023.06.017. Epub 2023 Jun 30.


Background & aims: Individuals with Lynch syndrome (LS) have a high lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC) due to genetic alterations. Nutrition is one of the main modifiable risk factors for sporadic CRC, however this has not been established in LS patients. The present study aimed to give a detailed overview of dietary intakes in individuals with LS, and associated individual characteristics.

Methods: Dietary behaviours of individuals with LS from the AAS-Lynch clinical trial (2017-2022) were obtained using a food frequency questionnaire. Dietary intakes, food group consumption and overall diet quality (dietary patterns, adherence to the Mediterranean diet) were described according to sociodemographic, anthropometric and clinical characteristics, and compared to participants without LS from the NutriNet-Santé study (matched on sex, age, BMI and region).

Results: 280 individuals with LS were included in this analysis and matched with 547 controls. Compared to controls, LS patients consumed less fibre, legumes, fruit and vegetables and more red and processed meat (all p < 0.01). They also had a lower Mediterranean diet score (p = 0.002). Among LS patients, men, younger patients, or those with disadvantaged situation had a diet of poorer nutritional quality with lower adherence to a "Healthy" diet (all p ≤ 0.01). LS Patients with prevalent CRC had a higher consumption of dairy products than recommended, while those with prevalent adenoma consumed more vegetables, and less sugar and sweets (all p ≤ 0.01).

Conclusions: Although patients with LS were aware of their high lifetime risk of developing cancer, their diets were not optimal and included nutritional risk factors associated to CRC.

Keywords: Cancer prevention; Colorectal cancer; Dietary pattern; Dietary recommendation; Eating habits; Hereditary cancer; Lynch syndrome; Nutrition; Nutritional prevention; Risk reduction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Colorectal Neoplasms, Hereditary Nonpolyposis*
  • Diet, Healthy
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Vegetables