Robert F. Power, Damien E. Doherty, Imelda Parker, David J. Gallagher, Maeve A. Lowery, Karen A. Cadoo

Modifiable Risk Factors and Risk of Colorectal and Endometrial Cancers in Lynch Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

PURPOSE Lynch syndrome is the most common hereditary cause of colorectal and endometrial cancers. Modifiable risk factors, including obesity, physical activity, alcohol intake, and smoking, are well-established in sporadic cancers but are less studied in Lynch syndrome. METHODS Searches were conducted on MEDLINE, Embase, and Web of Science for cohort studies that investigated the association between modifiable risk factors and the risk of colorectal or endometrial cancer in people with Lynch syndrome. Adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for colorectal and endometrial cancers were pooled using a random effects model. The protocol was prospectively registered on PROSPERO (CRD 42022378462), and the meta-analysis was conducted in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology reporting guidelines. RESULTS A total of 770 citations were reviewed. Eighteen studies were identified for qualitative synthesis, with seven colorectal cancer (CRC) studies eligible for meta-analysis. Obesity (HR, 2.38 [95% CI, 1.52 to 3.73]) was associated with increased CRC risk. There was no increased CRC risk associated with smoking (HR, 1.04 [95% CI, 0.82 to 1.32]) or alcohol intake (HR, 1.32 [95% CI, 0.97 to 1.81]). Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and some dietary factors might increase risk of CRC although more studies are needed. In a qualitative synthesis of three endometrial cancer cohort studies, female hormonal risk factors and T2DM may affect the risk of endometrial cancer, but obesity was not associated with an increased risk. CONCLUSION Lifestyle recommendations related to weight and physical activity may also be relevant to cancer prevention for individuals with Lynch syndrome. Further high-quality prospective cohort studies, in particular, including endometrial cancer as an end point, are needed to inform evidence-based cancer prevention strategies in this high-risk population.

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