Larger Waistlines May Increase Colon Cancer Risk

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

A large European study of men's andwomen's waistlines showed that thosewith more abdominal fat were morelikely to develop colon cancer. Thenutrition and cancer study assessedrisk among 368,277 men and womenby recording body measurements andobtaining information on participants' diet, exercise, and lifestyles. In the 6years following, researchers determinedthat men with the largest waistlineswere 39% more likely to be diagnosedwith colon cancer than the slimmermen in the study. Women with themost abdominal fat were 48% morelikely to develop colon cancer thanthose women with smaller waists. Highbody mass index measurements increasedrisk of colon cancer in menonly. Researchers hypothesized thatthis was due to weight distribution—heavier men tend to carry weightaround their mid-sections, and heavierwomen tend to carry weight in theirhips and thighs. Researchers also suggestthat abdominal fat, which is more"metabolically active," is influential incolon cancer risk because it raises certainhormones that affect the growth ofcancer cells. These findings, whichappeared in a recent issue of theJournal of the National Cancer Institute,stress the importance of preventingabdominal obesity.

Ms. Farley is a freelance medicalwriter based in Wakefield, RI.