Having a normal body mass index, being physically active, and eating abundant vegetables, fruits, and whole grains was linked to a significantly reduced risk of death during a prospective cohort study of 992 patients with stage III colon cancer.
After 7 years of median follow-up, patients who most closely followed American Cancer Society Nutrition and Physical Activityfor Cancer Survivors had a 5-year survival probability of 85%, compared with 76% for patients who were least adherent (absolute risk reduction, 9%). After adjustment for multiple potential confounders, high guideline concordance was associated with a 42% lower risk of death during follow-up, compared with low guideline concordance (hazard ratio, 0.58; 95% confidence interval, 0.34-0.99; P = .01).
The cohort study included individuals with stage 3 colon cancer enrolled in the Cancer and Leukemia Group B () 89803 randomized adjuvant chemotherapy trial, which ran from 1999 through 2001. Dr. Van Blarigan and her coinvestigators surveyed and scored each patient according to the ACS guidelines for cancer survivors. Scores ranged from 0 to 6 and increased with healthier behavior. The survival analysis compared individuals scoring 5 or 6 (highest guideline concordance) with those scoring 0 or 1 (lowest guideline concordance).
The 91 patients with the highest guideline concordance typically had a BMI of 23 kg/m2 or less, exercised more than 30 metabolic equivalent task hours per week, consumed more than three daily servings of fruits and vegetables, and ate mostly whole (versus refined) grains. In contrast, the 262 patients with the lowest guideline concordance had a median BMI of 33 kg/m2, exercised a median of 2 metabolic equivalent task hours per week, consumed less than two daily servings of fruits and vegetables, and ate mostly refined grains.