News from Rabin Medical Center – Obesity in Adolescence Linked With Subsequent Colorectal Cancer
Overweight and obesity in adolescence were associated with an increased risk for colon cancer later in life among both men and women, according to the results of a recent study. Obesity, but not overweight, was also linked to subsequent rectal cancer.
Researchers were extending previous work looking at the association between body mass index (BMI) measured at adolescence and risk for colorectal cancer (CRC) among men. The study was expanded to include women and by updating the cancer registry linkage data to increase the number of CRC cases.
“The association between adolescent BMI and CRC among men has been addressed in several studies, some reporting little or no association, a possible association, or a positive association,” wrote Zohar Levi, MD, of the Rabin Medical Center, Tikva, Israel, and colleagues.
According to the researchers, few previous studies have reported on colon and rectal cancers separately.
“Our data indicate that the risk for rectal cancer may be increased only for obese adolescents, and this suggests possibly different mechanisms for colon cancer and rectal cancer,” the researchers wrote. “This might be supported by reports of a differential impact of obesity on the risk of adenomas and may provide some explanation for the inconsistencies concerning the association of BMI with rectal cancer in women reported in several studies.”