What is the association between body mass index (BMI) and the risk of colon cancer?

Updated: Apr 15, 2020
  • Author: Tomislav Dragovich, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: N Joseph Espat, MD, MS, FACS  more...
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Association between body mass index (BMI) and risk of colorectal adenomas and cancer has been reported, but few studies have had adequate sample size for conducting stratified analyses. Jacobs et al pooled data from 8,213 participants in seven prospective studies and found that BMI was significantly related to most histologic characteristics of metachronous adenomas in men but not in women. The researchers concluded that body size may affect colorectal carcinogenesis at comparatively early stages, particularly in men. [18]

A nationwide cohort study from France of incident colorectal cancer in obese patients, which compared outcomes in 74,131 patients who underwent bariatric surgery with 971, 217 patients who did not have surgery, found that in the bariatric surgery cohort, risk of colorectal cancer was the same as that in the general population. In the obese patients who did not undergo bariatric surgery, the risk was 34% above that of the general population. [19]

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