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Resolutions may trigger risk-reducing behaviour change - study

Friday January 5th, 2018

Sticking to New Year resolutions to lead a healthier lifestyle helps individuals reduce the risk of developing cancer, according to Welsh researchers.

Researchers at Cardiff University, Wales, found that promises of adopting a healthy lifestyle – such as through not smoking, maintaining a low BMI, doing regular exercise, eating healthily and limiting alcohol - result in a total reduction in cancer risk of about one third.

Examining preliminary data from the UK Biobank, which is a prospective study of half a million subjects, the research team identified healthy behaviours and compared them with the risk of cancer over several years.

They calculated that together, the healthy behaviours contributed to a total reduction of about one third in cancer risk and possibly a greater reduction in cancer mortality.

Professor Peter Elwood of Cardiff University, who led the research, which is published in ecancermedicalscience, said: "Perhaps the advice to take up one additional healthy behaviour is the most acceptable message for most subjects.

"In our study each additional healthy behaviour was associated with a reduction of about 8% in cancer, independent of the effects of the other behaviours.

“The take-home message is that healthy behaviours can have a truly tangible benefit."

Elwood P C, Whitmarsh A, Gallacher J et al. Healthy living and cancer: evidence from UK Biobank. ecancer 4 January 2018; Doi:10.3332/ecancer.2018.792 [abstract]

Tags: Cancer | Diet & Food | Drug & Alcohol Abuse | Fitness | UK News

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