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01-10-2011 | Uitgave 8/2011

Quality of Life Research 8/2011

Lifestyle and quality of life in colorectal cancer survivors

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 8/2011
Chloe Grimmett, John Bridgewater, Andrew Steptoe, Jane Wardle



As cancer survival rates improve, there is growing interest in the role of lifestyle in longer-term health and quality of life (QoL). This study examined the prevalence of health-related behaviours, and the associations between health behaviours and QoL, in colorectal cancer survivors.


Patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer within the last 5 years identified from five London (UK) hospitals (N = 495) completed a survey that included measures of fruit and vegetable (F&V) intake, physical activity, smoking status and alcohol consumption. The EORTC-QLQ-C30 questionnaire was used to index QoL.


The majority of respondents were overweight/obese (58%), not physically active (<5 bouts of moderate activity per week; 82%) and ate fewer than five portions of F&V a day (57%). Few were smokers (6%) or heavy drinkers (weekly alcohol units >21 for men and >14 for women; 8%). Physical activity showed the strongest association with functional QoL and was also associated with lower fatigue, pain and insomnia (P < 0.05). F&V intake was associated with higher global QoL and physical, role and cognitive function (P < 0.05). Using a total health behaviour score (calculated by assigning one point for each of the following behaviours: not smoking, consuming ≥5 portions of F&V a day, being physically active and having moderate alcohol consumption), there was a linear relationship with global QoL, physical function and fatigue (P < 0.05).


A high proportion of colorectal cancer survivors in the UK have suboptimal health behaviours, and this is associated with poorer QoL.

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