Which lifestyle factors are associated with serrated colorectal polyps? 5 study insights

A study in Gastroenterology performed a systematic review of relevant gastrointestinal research to determine which modifiable lifestyle factors impact a patient's risk for developing serrated colorectal polyps.

The researchers identified 43 studies of serrated polyp risk associated with seven lifestyle factors: smoking, alcohol, body mass index, diet, physical activity, medication and hormone-replacement therapy.

Here's what you need to know:

1. Factors that significantly increased risk included smoking, alcohol, BMI and high intake of fat or meat.

2. The risk associations for smoking and alcohol were stronger for sessile serrated adenomas/polyps than for hyperplastic polyps.

3. Factors that significantly decreased risk included use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, use of aspirin and high intake of folate, calcium or fiber.

4. There were no significant risk associations for either physical activity or hormone-replacement therapy.

The researchers concluded, "these findings enhance our understanding of mechanisms of SP development and indicate that risk of serrated pathway colorectal neoplasms could be reduced with lifestyle changes."

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