Contribution of diet and lifestyle factors and metabolic phenotype to cancer risk in the Irish population: an investigation in middle- to older-aged adults

Lifestyle factors including diet, physical inactivity, smoking and alcohol consumption as well as high body mass index (BMI) are known to contribute to cancer risk. It has been estimated that 42-45% of cancer cases and cancers deaths in the United States are linked to modifiable lifestyle factors and thus could be prevented.

As the prevalence of diet and lifestyle risk factors increases, public health efforts focussed on identification of more effective preventive and screening measures for whole populations and individuals is warranted. The overarching aim of the proposed research is to investigate the contribution of diet and lifestyle factors and metabolic phenotype to cancer risk in a cohort of middle- to older-aged Irish adults (Mitchelstown cohort).

The project will i) examine the relative contributions of dietary quality and the dietary inflammatory index to cancer risk by assessing their associations (as part of a healthy lifestyle score) with circulating inflammatory and lipoprotein subclass markers known to play an important role in carcinogenesis, and ii) determine associations between metabolic health phenotypes in both obese and non-obese middle-aged men and women and cancer risk. The holistic approach of assessing diet and lifestyle factors in combination with anthropometric and metabolic measures may be useful for defining strata of the population at greater risk of cancer and for whom targeted interventions may be particularly beneficial in terms of reducing disease risk.

Start year:
End year:
Principal Investigator:
Dr Catherine Phillips (PI), Dr Janas Harrington and Prof Ivan Perry (co-PIs)
Lead researcher:
Dr Seán Millar
University College Cork
Grant funding:
BCR project grant
Cancer type:
Linked Breakthrough Research Priorities: 
3, 4, 5

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