Background: Estimates indicate that 35% of cancer deaths worldwide are attributed to behavioral and environmental risk factors, including tobacco use, excess body weight, low intake of fruits and vegetables, physical inactivity, smoking, alcohol use and infection with HPV. For unknown reasons, the incidence of cancer in females residing in Puerto Rico significantly (p<0.05) increased from 203.9 per 100,000 in 1987 to 248.5 per 100,000 in 2009, an annual average increase of 0.9% during this period. Objective: This study assessed the prevalence of modifiable cancer-related risk factors among a population-based sample of women living in the San Juan Metropolitan Area of Puerto Rico. Methods: We used data from a population-based survey of 496 women, aged 16-64 years, living in the San Juan Metropolitan Area to assess the prevalence of cancer-related risk factors and preventive practices, including selected demographic characteristics and cancer-related risk behaviors: tobacco use, alcohol consumption, BMI, physical activity (participation in moderate-intensity activities for a minimum of 30 minutes on five days per week or vigorous-intensity activity for a minimum of 20 minutes on three days per week), daily intake of at least five portions of fruits and vegetables, and cervical HPV-DNA infection in cervix. Logistic regression was used to assess the association between individual cancer-related risk factors and socio-demographic characteristics. Results: The prevalence of cancer-related risk factors was high: obesity (BMI≥30 kg/m2), 41.9%; current smoking, 18.6%; binge drinking, 38.7%; low physical activity, 68.2%; low intake of fruit and vegetables, 95.0%; HPV-DNA infection for any type, 27.8%; and high-risk HPV infection, 8.6%. Only 0.8% of women had none of these cancer-related risk factors, 42.9% had 1-2 risk factors, and 56.2% had at least 3. Multivariable analyses showed that less educated women were significantly more likely to smoke and to meet physical activity recommendations. Older women were significantly more likely to be obese and significantly less likely to report binge drinking or to have HPV-DNA infection (any type or high-risk) in the cervix. Conclusion: The elevated prevalence of major cancer-related risk factors among women in PR underscores the need for interventions aimed at lifestyle modification in this population. Additional research on the extent to which behavioral and environmental exposures are responsible for the increase in cancer incidence in Puerto Rico is highly warranted.

Citation Format: Cynthia M. Perez, Daisy González-Barrios, Vivian Colón, Katherine L. Tucker, Ana P. Ortiz. Cancer-related risk factors in Hispanic women in the San Juan metropolitan area of Puerto Rico. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 104th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2013 Apr 6-10; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2013;73(8 Suppl):Abstract nr 147. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2013-147