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Socio-demographic variation in adherence to the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF)/American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) Cancer Prevention Recommendations within the UK Biobank prospective cohort study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Fiona MalcomsonORCiD, Dr Liya Lu, Dr Carlos Celis Morales, Professor Linda Sharp, Professor John Mathers



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Faculty of Public Health. Background: The 2018 (WCRF)/American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) Cancer Prevention Recommendations are evidence-based lifestyle recommendations which aim to reduce the risk of cancer worldwide. Sociodemographic factors modulate lifestyle behaviours, and both cancer incidence and survival are socio-economically patterned. We investigated adherence to these recommendations and examined patterns of adherence across sociodemographic subgroups in the UK Biobank cohort. Methods: We included 158 415 UK Biobank participants (mean age 56 years, 53% female). Total adherence scores were derived from dietary, physical activity and anthropometric data using the 2018 WCRF/AICR standardized scoring system. One-Way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to test for differences in total scores and in values for individual score components according to sociodemographic factors and Pearson’s X2 test to investigate associations between sociodemographic factors according to tertiles of adherence score. Results Mean total adherence score was 3.85 points (SD 1.05, range 0–7 points). Higher total scores were observed in females, and older (>57 years), Chinese or South Asian, and more educated participants. We found significant variations in adherence to individual recommendations by sociodemographic factors including education, Townsend deprivation index and ethnicity. Conclusions: Identifying and understanding lifestyle and dietary patterns according to sociodemographic factors could help to guide public health strategies for the prevention of cancers and other non-communicable diseases.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Malcomson FC, Parra-Soto S, Lu L, Ho F, Celis-Morales C, Sharp L, Mathers JC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Public Health

Year: 2024

Volume: 46

Issue: 1

Pages: 61-71

Print publication date: 01/03/2024

Online publication date: 20/11/2023

Acceptance date: 15/10/2023

Date deposited: 19/03/2024

ISSN (print): 1741-3842

ISSN (electronic): 1741-3850

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/pubmed/fdad218

PubMed id: 37986550


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Funder referenceFunder name
ANID-Becas Chile
Wereld Kanker Onderzoek Fonds (WKOF), World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF)