Obese Women More Likely to Get Colorectal Cancer

Face greater risk than obese men, study finds

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.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about colorectal cancer.

SOURCE: American College of Gastroenterology, news release, Nov. 1, 2004
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