Smoking Ups Risk of Colon Polyps

Study finds chances three times greater than for nonsmokers

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TUEDAY, Nov. 2, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Smoking greatly increases the risk of colon polyps, says a pair of studies by researchers at Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center in Philadelphia.

In the first study, the researchers collected detailed information about diet, exercise, medication use and smoking from 157 people with a mean age of 55 years. All the study participants underwent colonoscopy screening to detect precancerous polyps and colorectal cancer.

The study found that smokers were more likely to have polyps, to have a greater number of polyps, and to have larger polyps than nonsmokers.

The second study involved a retrospective review of 177 people, mean age of 65 years, who had a colonoscopy. Fifty-seven percent of the patients had polyps on the left side of the colon.

The study concluded that, among all ages, the chance of left-sided polyps was 2.7 times greater in smokers than among nonsmokers. That risk was three times greater among smokers over age 50 than among nonsmokers over age 50.

The findings were presented Nov. 1 at the American College of Gastroenterology annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about colon polyps.

SOURCE: American College of Gastroenterology news release

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