A 5-year healthy lifestyle counseling program for adult men was linked with a reduced risk of developing cancers related to overweight, diet, and smoking over 25 years. As reported in the Journal of Internal Medicine, the intervention did not reduce the overall cancer risk in the very long term.

The study is a 43-year follow-up of the Oslo diet and antismoking study, which recruited men at high risk for cardiovascular disease in 1972-73. Previous research revealed that the counselling intervention had a clear benefit for reducing cardiovascular disease risk in these men. So far, evidence for effects of lifestyle interventions on cancer have been limited, but this Norwegian study showed that advice for a heart-friendly lifestyle also could prevent some cancers in the long term.

“This study showed that changes to a healthier diet and stopping smoking in adult life will reduce risk of some lifestyle-related cancer forms, which are on the rise in the population”, said senior author Dr. Paula Berstad, of the Cancer Registry of Norway.