Obe­sity linked to col­orec­tal can­cer

The Asian Age - - Science + Health -

Wash­ing­ton, Oct. 13: Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent study, women who are over­weight or obese have up to twice the risk of de­vel­op­ing col­orec­tal can­cer be­fore age 50 in con­trast to women who have what is con­sid­ered a nor­mal body mass in­dex.

In the United States, over­all rates of new col­orec­tal can­cer cases and deaths from the dis­ease have de­creased steadily since 1980, largely ow­ing to rec­om­mended colonoscopy screen­ing start­ing at age 50.

For rea­sons that re­main un­known, new cases of, and deaths due to, both colon and rec­tal can­cers have been in­creas­ing for younger adults ages 20 to 49. The study is among the first epi­demi­o­logic analy­ses of the po­ten­tial con­trib­u­tors to early, on­set col­orec­tal can­cer, cases di­ag­nosed un­der age 50.

The re­searchers found that higher cur­rent BMI, BMI at 18 years of age, and weight gain since early adult­hood are as­so­ci­ated with in­creased risk of col­orc­tal can­cer un­der age 50.

The study in­cluded data from 85,256 women ages 25 to 44 in the Nurses’ Health Study II, which be­gan in 1989. The re­searchers col­lected de­tailed in­for­ma­tion on body weight through­out the life course, fam­ily and en­doscopy his­to­ries, and life­style fac­tors at study base­line and ev­ery two to four years. Up to 2011, doc­tors di­ag­nosed 114 col­orec­tal can­cer cases un­der age 50.

“Our find­ings re­ally high­light the im­por­tance of main­tain­ing a healthy weight, be­gin­ning in early adult­hood for the preven­tion of early- on­set col­orec­tal can­cer,” said cose­nior au­thor and can­cer epi­demi­ol­o­gist Yin Cao.

“We hy­poth­e­sized that the obe­sity epi­demic may par­tially con­trib­ute to this na­tional and global con­cern,” Cao said.

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