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Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute

Modifiable risk and protective factors of cancer - a population based approach in Switzerland

In the past years, significant contributions to the epidemiology of cardiovascular disease (CVD) were made in Switzerland. To a large extent, this was possible thanks to the Swiss National Cohort (SNC) and additional record linkages with health surveys. Together with CVD, cancer is the most common cause of death in Switzerland. The decline in cancer mortality in the past decades was, however, much smaller than the decrease in CVD mortality, leading to an increase of the relative importance of cancer compared with CVD. Moreover, incidence of many types of cancer is on the rise. Only little is known about the significance of cancer protective factors and their prevention potential on a population level. There are also no tools that physicians could use in order to demonstrate the joint impact of a cancer protective lifestyle on life expectancy. In contrast, CVD risk scores have been well-established for decades. The aim of this project is to develop a cost-effective and elegant approach that uses linked data as well as other available data sources in order to map the modifiable fraction of cancer and to generate a Swiss-specific tool allowing for more efficient and evidence-based cancer prevention recommendations.


  • Continuous outcome logistic regression for analyzing body mass index distributions. Lohse T, Rohrmann S, Faeh D, Hothorn T. F1000Res. 2017 Nov 1;6:1933
  • Swiss National Cohort Study Group. Type A personality and mortality: Competitiveness but not speed is associated with increased risk. Atherosclerosis. Lohse T, Rohrmann S, Richard A, Bopp M, Faeh D. 2017 Jul;262:19-24
  • Swiss National Cohort Study Group. Adherence to the cancer prevention recommendations of the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research and mortality: a census-linked cohort. Lohse T, Faeh D, Bopp M, Rohrmann S. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Sep;104(3):678-85.
  • Heavy Smoking Is More Strongly Associated with General Unhealthy Lifestyle than Obesity and Underweight. Lohse T, Rohrmann S, Bopp M, Faeh D. PLoS One. 2016 Feb 24;11(2):e0148563.
  • Swiss National Cohort Study Group. Impact of Smoking and Excess Body Weight on Overall and Site-Specific Cancer Mortality Risk. Meyer J, Rohrmann S, Bopp M, Faeh D; Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2015 Oct;24(10):1516-22.

Weiterführende Informationen


Sabine Rohrmann (Project Leader)

Matthias Bopp

David Fäh

Tina Lohse


Cancer Research Switzerland