Obesity Increases Colon Cancer Mortality
—A study published in the September 2010 issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention suggests a link between obesity and an increased risk for colon cancer. Evidence shows that obesity with BMI of at least 30 had a 45% increased risk of dying from colon cancer after the disease is diagnosed in obese postmenopausal women.
They found the distribution of fat was more predictive of mortality than general obesity with BMI of 30. Women with abdominal obesity (larger waist to hip ratio) had a 30-40% greater risk of dying from colon cancer. Interestingly, those underweight women, with BMI less than 18.5, had an 89% increased mortality compared to those of normal weight. The data used was from the Iowa Women’s Health Study, which examined 1096 women who were diagnosed with colon cancer from 1986 to 2005.
Research has shown that excess weight and obesity can increase the risk of many types of cancer, not just colon. The association between higher BMI and increased mortality was especially noticed in cancers of the colon, breast (in women 60 years or older), ovary, cervix, and prostate, and for leukemia.