Physical Inactivity, Water Intake and Constipation as Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer among Adults in Jordan

  • Tayyem, Reema Fayez (Department of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetic, The Hashemite University) ;
  • Shehadeh, Ihab Numan (Gastroenterology Division, KHCC) ;
  • AbuMweis, Suhad Sameer (Department of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetic, The Hashemite University) ;
  • Bawadi, Hiba Ahmad (Department of Nutrition and Food Technology, Hashemite University) ;
  • Hammad, Shatha Sabri (Department of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetic, The Hashemite University) ;
  • Bani-Hani, Kamal Eddin (Faculty of Medicine, Hashemite University) ;
  • Al-Jaberi, Tareq Mohammad (Jordan University of Science and Technology) ;
  • Alnusai, Majed Mohammed (Gastroenterology Division, Prince Hamza Hospital)
  • Published : 2013.09.30


Background: Physical activity has been found to play a role in cancer prevention. The purpose of this matched case-control study was to investigate the association between physical activity levels, water intake, constipation and colorectal cancer (CRC). Materials and Methods: Two hundred and thirty-two patients diagnosed with CRC (125 male, 107 female) were enrolled in this case-control study. Cases were matched to 271 population controls (137 male, 134 female). Results: Drinking more than 4 cups of water daily decreased the risk of CRC by 33-42%; however, this effect was non-significant. Having constipation was found to be a significant risk factor for developing CRC with an OR=6.284 (95%CI=2.741-14.40). With reference to sedentary behavior, minimum activity (600-3000 Metabolic Equivalents Task (MET)) had 43% protection against CRC and the level of Health Enhancing Physical Activity OR was 0.58 (at 95%CI; 0.37-0.92). A significant negative association was found between CRC and physical activity levels expressed as both METs and MET-hours/week (p for trend=0.017 and 0.03, respectively). Among females, a significant trend of reduction in CRC by 62% was observed with increasing the level of physical activity expressed in MET (p for trend=0.04). Conclusions: The risk of CRC may be reduced by adopting a healthy lifestyle and practicing physically activity regularly, especially among females. Consuming adequate amounts of water and healthy bowel motility could also reduce the risk of CRC.


Colorectal cancer;physical activity;water intake;constipation


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