Page last updated: Jan 2022
The role of healthy lifestyle in cancer incidence and temporal transitions to cardiometabolic disease

Cardiometabolic disease, including cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type 2 diabetes (T2D), can result in serious late effects in patients with cancer. Preventing long-term complications in this population is an increasingly important priority in public health and clinical practice.
The aim of this study was to investigate the role of a healthy lifestyle in the transition from a healthy status to the development of cancer and subsequent CVD and T2D.
The analysis was based on data from the UK Biobank and included 2 subsamples: a cancer-free cohort of 397,136 individuals in the general population and a cancer-prevalent cohort of 35,564 patients with cancer. All participants were 40 to 70 years of age and were free of CVD and T2D at recruitment. A healthy lifestyle that included no current smoking, regular physical activity, a healthy diet, and moderate alcohol consumption and sleep duration were included in a healthy lifestyle index (HLI).
In the cancer-free cohort, during a maximum follow-up period of 15 years, 6.38% and 4.18% of patients with cancer developed CVD and T2D, respectively. A healthy lifestyle significantly mitigated the risk for transition from cancer to subsequent CVD and T2D, with HRs per 1-point increment in HLI of 0.90 (95% CI: 0.86-0.94) and 0.84 (95% CI: 0.79-0.89), respectively. In the cancer-prevalent cohort, each 1-point increment in HLI was similarly associated with lower risk for CVD (HR: 0.90; 95% CI: 0.87-0.93) and T2D (HR: 0.87; 95% CI: 0.83-0.91) in cancer survivors.
A healthy lifestyle is associated with a slower transition from cancer development to the subsequent development of CVD and T2D. Moreover, among patients with cancer, a healthy lifestyle is associated with lower risk for CVD and T2D. This study highlights the practical benefits of adherence to a healthy lifestyle.
Source: Zhi Cao, Chenjie Xu, Hongxi Yang, Shu Li, Yaogang Wang, The Role of Healthy Lifestyle in Cancer Incidence and Temporal Transitions to Cardiometabolic Disease, JACC: CardioOncology, Volume 3, Issue 5, 2021, Pages 663-674, ISSN 2666-0873,


All text and images © 2003 Alcohol In Moderation.