Preventable Cancer Burden Associated with Poor Diet in the United States
New Delhi, 02 June 2019. Diet is an important risk factor for cancer that is amenable to intervention. Estimating the cancer burden associated with diet informs evidence-based priorities for nutrition policies to reduce cancer burden in the US. Researchers say the diet of many Americans is increasing their risk for developing a variety of cancers.
A study published this week in the JNCI Cancer Spectrum reaffirmed that diet can play a significant role in whether people develop the disease and, like exercise and alcohol consumption, their eating habits are a lifestyle choice.
“I would hope that we would be aware that a large amount of new cancer cases is preventable,” said Dr. Fang Fang Zhang, the study’s lead author and an associate professor of epidemiology at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in Boston.
Research team is compiled with Fang Fang Zhang, MD, PhD Frederick Cudhea, PhD Zhilei Shan, MD, PhD Dominique S Michaud, ScD Fumiaki Imamura, PhD Heesun Eom Mengyuan Ruan, MS Colin D Rehm, PhD Junxiu Liu, PhD Mengxi Du, MS David Kim, PhD Lauren Lizewski, MPH Parke Wilde, PhD Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH.
“Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States (US), accounting for 1 in 4 deaths.
In 2018, an estimated 1.7 million Americans are newly diagnosed with cancer, and 0.6 million will die from cancer.
The associated economic burden in the US exceeds $80 billion annually for direct medical costs alone.
With population aging, escalating healthcare costs, and increasing rates of risk factors, such as obesity, the cancer burden is projected to further increase.”
Poor dietary habits have long been recognized to be associated with cancer risk.
With the recent dietary data and cancer incidence in the US, and updated evidence on nutrition and cancer risk, the cancer burden associated with various dietary factors needs to be evaluated.
Importantly, obesity has been recognized as an important risk factor for 13 cancers. The diet associated cancer burden mediated through obesity has not yet been formally quantified.
In addition, disparities in diet-associated cancer burden, such as by age, sex, and race/ethnicity, are not well established. To address these questions, researchers estimated the preventable cancer burden associated with suboptimal intake of 7 dietary factors, individually and combined, among US adults for 15 cancers. researchers separately estimated the cancer burden attributable to direct associations with poor diet and that attributable to obesity-mediated associations. Accounting for demographic differences in dietary intake and cancer incidence, researchers further estimated the diet associated cancer burden among age, sex, and race/ethnicity subgroups.
An estimated 80110 (95% uncertainty interval [UI]: 76316-83657) new cancer cases were attributable to suboptimal diet, accounting for 5.2% (95% UI: 5.0%-5.5%) of all new cancer cases in 2015. Of these, 67488 (95% UI: 63583-70978) and 4.4% (95% UI: 4.2%-4.6%) were attributable to direct associations; and 12589 (95% UI: 12156-13038) and 0.82% (95% UI: 0.79%-0.85%) to obesity-mediated associations. By cancer type, colorectal cancer had the highest number and proportion of diet-related cases (52225, 38.3%). By diet, low consumption of whole grains (27763, 1.8%) and dairy products (17692, 1.2%) and high intake of processed meats (14524, 1.0%) contributed to the highest burden. Men, middle-aged (45-64 years), and racial/ethnic minorities (non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, and others) had the highest proportion of diet-associated cancer burden than other age, sex, race/ethnicity groups.
Research concludes that more than 80,000 new cancer cases are estimated to be associated with suboptimal diet among US adults in 2015, with middle-aged men and racial/ethnic minorities experiencing the largest proportion of diet-associated cancer burden in the US.
The study is part of a federally funded effort to come up with cost-effective ways of improving the nation’s health through diet.
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Topic: obesity, cancer, colorectal cancer, diet, adult, blacks, dairy products, ethnic group, Hispanics or Latinos, middle-aged adult, minority groups, nutrition policy, prospective studies, risk assessment, cancer risk evidence-based practice, whole grains, diet poor, dietary factors, processed meat.