Changes in diet, physical activity, and supplement use among adults diagnosed with cancer.
Patterson RE, Neuhouser ML, Hedderson MM, Schwartz SM, Standish LJ, Bowen DJ
R. Patterson is a research associate professor and S. Schwartz is an associate professor, Department of Epidemiology and Nutritional Sciences Program, and D. Bowen is a professor, Department of Health Services, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. R. Patterson is an associate member, M. Neuhouser is a senior staff scientist, and D. Bowen is a member, Cancer Prevention Research Program; and S. Schwartz is a member, Program in Epidemiology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA. M. Hedderson is a research assistant, Division of Research, Kaiser-Permanente, Oakland, CA. L. Standish is Director of Research,
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the prevalence and predictors of changes in diet, physical activity, and dietary supplement use among cancer patients.
Telephone interviews of a population-based sample of 126 breast, 114 prostate, and 116 colorectal cancer patients from the state of Washington.
ANALYSIS: Logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratio as a measure of the association of participant characteristics with lifestyle changes in the 12 months before the interview.
RESULTS: Overall, 66.3% of patients reported making lifestyle changes: 40.4% made one or more dietary changes, 20.8% added new physical activity, and 48.0% started taking new dietary supplements.
Compared with men, women were 2.2 times more likely to take new dietary supplements (P <.01). Compared with patients aged 35 to 59, those aged 60 to 69 and 70 or older were statistically significantly less likely to make dietary changes (odds ratio = 0.39 and 0.54, respectively) or to take new supplements (odds ratio = 0.42 and 0.69, respectively).
Compared with patients who received only one medical treatment, those receiving three or more treatments were more likely to make dietary changes (odds ratio = 2.6) or to start new physical activity (odds ratio = 3.0).
Patients diagnosed 12 to 24 months before the interview were as likely to report making lifestyle changes as those diagnosed within one year of the interview. Having a stronger desire for personal control or internal locus of control predicted use of new dietary supplements (P for trend <.05 for both).
Cancer survivors are likely to be making lifestyle changes and represent a group that could benefit from counseling on diet and physical activity.
J Am Diet Assoc. 2003;103:323-328.
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