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The effects of alcohol intake, adiposity and smoking on the risk of colorectal cancer in UK Biobank

Whitmarsh, Alexander 2017. The effects of alcohol intake, adiposity and smoking on the risk of colorectal cancer in UK Biobank. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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The burden of non-communicable diseases, including cancer, is growing globally. Epidemiological studies have shown that lifestyle factors can increase the risk of these diseases. Colorectal cancer represents the third most common cancer for men and women in the UK. This thesis investigated the relationships between three classic lifestyle risk factors - alcohol intake, adiposity and smoking - and colorectal cancer in the UK Biobank cohort. UK Biobank is a cohort of 500,000 men and women aged 40-69 recruited between 2006-2010. Participants were followed-up for cancer and death registrations until 31st March 2014 through linkage with national datasets. Cox proportional hazards models were used to analyse these data. This thesis found that alcohol intake was associated with colorectal cancer for men but not for women. For men, there was a dose-response relationship between alcohol intake and colorectal cancer. Results were similar using non-drinkers or never drinkers as the reference group. Body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) and waist to hip ratio (WHR) were each strongly associated with colon cancer for men but there was only slight evidence for an association with WC and WHR for women. Modelling BMI and WC/WHR together, the associations for WC/WHR remained while the association for BMI was attenuated, indicating that WC/WHR may be more directly associated with colorectal cancer risk than BMI. While former cigarette smokers had an increased risk of colorectal cancer compared to never smokers, there was no clear evidence of an increased risk for current cigarette smokers. Furthermore, former cigarette smokers with ≥40 years smoking duration had a higher risk than current cigarette smokers with ≥40 years duration. In conclusion,this thesis found that alcohol intake, adiposity and smoking are each associated with colorectal cancer risk. The prevalence of these risk factors should be minimised in order to prevent disease.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 5 June 2017
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2017 09:17

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