Original paper

Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 541-552

Adherence to the WCRF/AICR cancer prevention recommendations and cancer-specific mortality: results from the Vitamins and Lifestyle (VITAL) Study

  • Theresa A. HastertAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology, University of WashingtonFred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterCenter for Social Epidemiology and Population Health, University of Michigan School of Public Health Email author 
  • , Shirley A. A. BeresfordAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology, University of WashingtonFred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • , Lianne SheppardAffiliated withDepartment of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of WashingtonDepartment of Biostatistics, University of Washington
  • , Emily WhiteAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology, University of WashingtonFred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Purpose

In 2007, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) released eight recommendations related to body fatness, physical activity, and diet aimed at preventing the most common cancers worldwide. The purpose of this paper is to estimate the association between meeting these recommendations and cancer-specific mortality.

Methods

We operationalized six recommendations (related to body fatness; physical activity; and consumption of foods that promote weight gain, plant foods, red and processed meat, and alcohol) and examined their association with cancer-specific mortality over 7.7 years of follow-up in the Vitamins and Lifestyle (VITAL) Study cohort. Participants included 57,841 men and women ages 50–76 in 2000–2002 who had not been diagnosed with cancer prior to baseline. Cancer-specific deaths (n = 1,595) were tracked through the Washington State death file.

Results

Meeting the recommendations related to plant foods and foods that promote weight gain were most strongly associated with lower cancer-specific mortality [hazard ratio (HR) 0.82, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.67, 1.00 and HR 0.82, 95 % CI 0.70, 0.96, respectively]. Cancer-specific mortality was 61 % lower in respondents who met at least five recommendations compared to those who met none (HR 0.39, 95 % CI 0.24, 0.62). Cancer-specific mortality was 10 % lower on an average with each additional recommendation met (per-recommendation HR 0.90, 95 % CI 0.85, 0.94; p trend < 0.001). This association did not differ by sex or age but was stronger in non-smokers (HR 0.84, 95 % CI 0.76, 0.92) than in smokers (HR 0.93, 95 % CI 0.87, 0.98; p interaction = 0.086).

Conclusion

Adherence to the WCRF/AICR cancer prevention recommendations developed to reduce incidence of common cancers could substantially reduce cancer-specific mortality in older adults.

Keywords

Alcohol Cancer-specific mortality Cancer prevention Diet Physical activity Recommendations