Active lifestyle patterns reduce the risk of colorectal cancer in the Mecca region, Saudi Arabia: a case–control study

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We carried out a case–control study to investigate the effects of some lifestyle patterns on the occurrence of colorectal cancer (CRC) in the city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Parameters included BMI, employment, family income, educational level, family size, exercise, cancer awareness, diabetes, and hypertension. Individuals of both groups (n=164 for control group, n=137 for CRC group) completed a questionnaire with the help of trained dietitians. Results showed that limited cancer awareness was found to increase the risk of CRC [odds ratio (OR)=49.96, 95% confidence interval (CI): 11.45–217.9, P<0.001]. There was a linear trend (P-trend<0.001) of low educational level in increasing the risk of CRC. Mainly, illiterate individuals showed the highest risk of developing CRC (OR=116.8, 95% CI: 14.7–927.75, P<0.001). In addition, the results indicated a linear trend (P-trend<0.001) of low family income in increasing the risk of CRC. The highest risk of CRC was shown with family income less than 5000 Saudi riyals (OR=64.38, 95% CI: 12.82–323.28, P<0.001). Other risk factors included a sedentary lifestyle, unemployment, and diabetes. Surprisingly, low BMI was associated with increasing incidence of CRC (OR=0.92, 95% CI: 0.88–0.96, P<0.001). However, family size and hypertension had no effect (P>0.05) on the incidence of CRC. Our study emphasizes the effect of active lifestyle patterns and cancer awareness in decreasing the incidence of CRC in the Mecca region.

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