TUESDAY, Nov. 2, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Obese women face a greater risk of colorectal cancer than obese men, says a Stony Brook University study presented Nov. 1 at the American College of Gastroenterology annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.
The study of 1,050 women and 1,250 men found that women with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more (considered obese) were 5.2 times more likely to have significant colorectal neoplasia than women with a BMI of 25 or less (healthy weight).
Neoplasia is the process that results in tumor formation and growth.
A high BMI in men was not shown to be associated with a higher risk of significant colorectal neoplasia.
Colonoscopy was used to screen the study participants.
"We use body mass index as a surrogate measure for body fat. It may be that for men and women with similar BMI, women have less muscle than men. This need to be explored further," study co-author Dr. Joseph C. Anderson said in a prepared statement.
He said the findings are important for doctors counseling overweight and obese women about colorectal cancer screening.
The American Cancer Society has more about colorectal cancer.