Lifestyle Risk Factors for Serrated Colorectal Polyps: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Lesley Bailie, Maurice B. Loughrey, Helen G. Coleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)
348 Downloads (Pure)


Background & Aims: Certain subsets of colorectal serrated polyps (SP) have malignant potential. Weperformed a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the association between modifiablelifestyle factors and risk for SPs. 
Methods: We conducted a systematic search of Medline, Embase, and Web of Science, forobservational or interventional studies that contained the terms risk or risk factor, and serrated orhyperplastic, and polyps or adenomas, and colorectal (or synonymous terms), published by March2016. Titles and abstracts of identified articles were independently reviewed by at least 2 reviewers.Adjusted relative risks (RR) and 95% CIs were combined using random effects meta-analyses toassess the risk of SP, when possible. 
Results: We identified 43 studies of SP risk associated with 7 different lifestyle factors: smoking,alcohol, body fatness, diet, physical activity, medication and/or hormone replacement therapy.When we compared the highest and lowest categories of exposure, factors we found to significantlyincrease risk for SP included tobacco smoking (RR, 2.47; 95% CI, 2.12–2.87), alcohol intake (RR, 1.33;95% CI, 1.17–1.52), body mass index (RR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.22–1.61), and high intake of fat or meat.Direct associations for smoking and alcohol, but not body fat, tended to be stronger for sessileserrated adenomas/polyps than hyperplastic polyps. In contrast, factors we found to significantlydecrease risks for SP included use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (RR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.65–0.92) or aspirin (RR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.67–0.99), as well as high intake of folate, calcium, or fiber. Nosignificant associations were detected between SP risk and physical activity or hormone replacementtherapy. 
Conclusions: Several lifestyle factors, most notably smoking and alcohol, are associated with SP risk.These findings enhance our understanding of mechanisms of SP development and indicate that riskof serrated pathway colorectal neoplasms could be reduced with lifestyle changes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-104
Number of pages13
Issue number1
Early online date14 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


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