*EMBARGOED All research presented at the 2023 ACG Annual Scientific Meeting and Postgraduate Course is strictly embargoed until Sunday, October 22, 2023, at 3:00 pm PT.

Oral 6 – Early Onset Colorectal Cancer Mortality Is Higher in the Southeast US and Significantly Associated With Poor Food Environment
Monday, October 23, 2023 | 9:30 AM – 9:42 AM PT | Location: Ballroom B

Author Insight from William K. Oelsner, MD, University of Tennessee HSC College of Medicine, Chattanooga

What’s new here and important for clinicians?
This is the first study to show the association between unhealthy food environments (low access to healthy foods, high food insecurity) with the high rates of EOCRC mortality seen in the Southeast and Southwest. In our multivariate linear regression models for dietary patterns, we found fruits and vegetables (p=0.006) consumption to be protective while soda (p<0.001) and meat (p<0.001) to be risk factors. Interestingly when incorporating known colorectal risk factors, demographics, and food sources, packaged sweet snacks and candy (p=0.0037) emerged as a risk factor while fruit and vegetables remained protective (p = 0.0116).

These results suggest that diets high in fruit and vegetable intake and low in packaged sweet snack consumption such as the Mediterranean or Whole-Foods, Plant-Based diet may reduce EOCRC mortality. This study identified candy consumption as a possible novel risk factor on a population level; however, further studies are needed. Furthermore, population based public health initiatives aimed at improving the food environment and early screening programs may lower EOCRC Mortality, particularly in the Southern US.

What do patients need to know?
While further studies for individual level risk factors need to be conducted, the results of this study suggest that diets high in fruits and vegetables may be protective against early onset colorectal cancer mortality; while candy and sweet snack consumption may be a risk factor.

Read the Abstract

Author Contact
William K. Oelsner, MD, University of Tennessee HSC College of Medicine, Chattanooga

will.oelsner [at] gmail.com

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