Background Healthy lifestyle might improve outcome among colorectal cancer (CRC) survivors. In this study we investigated the proportion of survivors who meet recommended lifestyle and weight guidelines and compared this to the general population. Factors that predict current behaviour were also assessed. Method A random sample of CRC survivors diagnosed between 1998 and 2007 were surveyed. Percentages of current smokers, alcohol consumers, excess weight and clustering of these variables were calculated. Using logistic regression we assessed demographical and clinical factors that predict current lifestyle and excess weight. Results We included 1349 (74% response rate) survivors in this study of whom only 8 and 16% of male and female survivors met the recommended lifestyle and body weight. Among male survivors up to 10% had at least two unhealthy lifestyle factors and among women, up to 19%. The proportion of smokers and those who had ever consumed alcohol was lower compared to the general population (13 vs. 31%, 82 vs. 86% respectively), but excess weight (BMI at least 25 kg/m2) was more prevalent among survivors (69 vs. 53% respectively). Having received chemotherapy was significantly associated with being overweight (adjusted odd ratio 1.5, 95% confidence interval 1.05-2.3). Younger patients, male gender and survivors of lower socioeconomic status were more likely to show non-compliance to healthy lifestyle recommendations. Conclusion The observed clustering of unhealthy lifestyle warrants interventions targeting multiple behaviours simultaneously. Reducing excess weight should be one of the most important targets of interventions, particularly for males, those who had chemotherapy and survivors of lower socioeconomic status.

Alcohol, Body mass index, Colorectal cancer, Smoking, Survivors,
Journal of Gastroenterology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Soerjomataram, I, Thong, M.S.Y, Korfage, I.J, Polinder, S, van der Heide, A, de Vries, E, … van de Poll-Franse, L.V. (2012). Excess weight among colorectal cancer survivors: Target for intervention. Journal of Gastroenterology, 47(9), 999–1005. doi:10.1007/s00535-012-0567-2