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Higher BMI Means Higher Colon Cancer Risk


Updated: May 23, 2007

A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology tried to determine if body mass index (BMI) plays a role in colorectal cancer risk. The BMI scale is a chart full of calculations that reflect five weight classes for any height: underweight, normal, overweight, obese, and extremely obese. Researchers examined the medical records of more than 500,000 people, comparing BMI scores and colorectal cancer rates to determine risk.

The verdict?

The higher your BMI, the higher your colon cancer risk. That's right - only colon cancer risk, not rectal cancer risk. Unlike other studies, this particular one didn't find that hormone replacement in women or physical activity in either gender mitigated the risk. The researchers also noted that their results didn't apply to women 67 or older.

What can you do with this information?

Take it in stride. It's one of many studies that indicate maintaining a healthy weight is one way to lower your risk of developing colon cancer. If you're curious what your BMI score is, you can use this BMI calculator to figure it out.

Related Articles: Related Research Summaries:

Source: Adams, K. and Leitzmann, M. "Body Mass and Colorectal Cancer Risk in the NIH–AARP Cohort." American Journal of Epidemiology Published online ahead of print. Accessed 28 Apr. 2007.

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