• Lifestyle factors and colorectal cancer risk (1): systematic review and meta-analysis of associations with body mass index.

      Harriss, D J; Atkinson, G; George, K; Cable, N Tim; Reilly, Thomas; Haboubi, Najib; Zwahlen, Marcel; Egger, Matthias; Renehan, Andrew G; Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Henry Cotton Campus, Liverpool, UK. (2009-07)
      OBJECTIVE: Excess body weight, defined by body mass index (BMI), may increase the risk of colorectal cancer. As a prerequisite to the determination of lifestyle attributable risks, we undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective observational studies to quantify colorectal cancer risk associated with increased BMI and explore for differences by gender, sub-site and study characteristics. METHOD: We searched MEDLINE and EMBASE (to December 2007), and other sources, selecting reports based on strict inclusion criteria. Random-effects meta-analyses and meta-regressions of study-specific incremental estimates were performed to determine the risk ratio (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) associated with a 5 kg/m(2) increase in BMI. RESULTS: We analysed 29 datasets from 28 articles, including 67,361 incident cases. Higher BMI was associated with colon (RR 1.24, 95% CIs: 1.20-1.28) and rectal (1.09, 1.05-1.14) cancers in men, and with colon cancer (1.09, 1.04-1.12) in women. Associations were stronger in men than in women for colon (P < 0.001) and rectal (P = 0.005) cancers. Associations were generally consistent across geographic populations. Study characteristics and adjustments accounted for only moderate variations of associations. CONCLUSION: Increasing BMI is associated with a modest increased risk of developing colon and rectal cancers, but this modest risk may translate to large attributable proportions in high-prevalence obese populations. Inter-gender differences point to potentially important mechanistic differences, which merit further research.
    • Lifestyle factors and colorectal cancer risk (2): a systematic review and meta-analysis of associations with leisure-time physical activity.

      Harriss, D J; Atkinson, G; Batterham, A; George, K; Cable, N Tim; Reilly, Thomas; Haboubi, Najib; Renehan, Andrew G; Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK. (2009-09)
      OBJECTIVE: Increased physical activity may decrease the risk of colorectal cancer. As a prerequisite to the determination of lifestyle attributable risks, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective observational studies to quantify gender-specific risk associated with increased leisure-time physical activity (LT-PA). METHOD: We searched MEDLINE and EMBASE (to December 2007), and other sources, selecting reports based on strict inclusion criteria. We used random-effects meta-analyses to estimate summary risk ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for uppermost vs lowermost categories of physical activity. To investigate dose-response, we explored risks ratios as a function of cumulative percentiles of physical activity distribution. RESULTS: Fifteen datasets from 14 articles, including 7873 incident cases, were identified. For colon cancer, there were inverse associations with LT-PA for men (RR: 0.80; 95% CI: 0.67-0.96) and women (0.86; 0.76-0.98). LT-PA did not influence risk of rectal cancer. The dose-response analysis was consistent with linear pattern reductions in risk of colon cancer in both genders. There was evidence of moderate between-study heterogeneity but summary estimates were broadly consistent across potential confounding factors. CONCLUSION: Increased LT-PA is associated with a modest reduction in colon but not rectal cancer risk; a risk reduction, which previously may have been overstated. LT-PA only interventions in public health cancer prevention strategies are unlikely to impact substantially on colorectal cancer incidences.
    • Physical activity before and after diagnosis of colorectal cancer: disease risk, clinical outcomes, response pathways and biomarkers.

      Harriss, David J; Cable, N Tim; George, Keith; Reilly, Thomas; Renehan, Andrew G; Haboubi, Najib; Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Henry Cotton Campus, Liverpool, UK. d.harriss@ljmu.ac.uk (2007)
      Physical inactivity may be responsible for 13-14% of colon cancer, an attributable risk greater than family history. Epidemiological evidence shows an association between occupational and recreational physical activity and colon cancer, but has not established whether physical activity is protective against low-risk or more advanced adenomas. The evidence is inconclusive as to whether physical activity protects against rectal cancer and is conflicting with respect to whether physical activity has equal effects on male and female risk of colorectal cancer. The effect of exercise 'interventions' on the risk of colorectal cancer is currently not known. Also, although inferences can be made from epidemiological studies, no optimal exercise regimen can be confidently prescribed for protection against colorectal cancer. There is little available evidence for the benefits of physical activity before diagnosis of colorectal cancer for disease-specific survival and prognosis, and the clinical effects of an exercise intervention after diagnosis have not been investigated. There is some evidence that improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness reduce adverse effects from cancer treatment when physical activity is undertaken following diagnosis of colorectal cancer. Markers/mechanisms by which physical activity may protect against colorectal cancer and/or improve disease prognosis include gastrointestinal transit-time, chronic inflammation, immune function, insulin levels, insulin-like growth factors, genetics and obesity. Research evidence is, however, limited as to whether these markers are beneficially affected by physical activity, either before or after diagnosis of colorectal cancer.