Hisham Hussan, MD, FACG The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Obesity Linked to Risk of Colon Cancer At a Younger Age

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Hisham Hussan, MD, FACG The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Dr. Hussan

Hisham Hussan, MD, FACG
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Early-onset colorectal cancer (i.e., CRC diagnosed before 50 years of age) is predicted to rise to 10.9% of all colon and 22.9% of all rectal cancers by 2030.

Some studies identified an association between early-onset CRC and obesity. By contrast, other studies found a similar body mass index (BMI) between adults with and without early-onset CRC. These conflicting findings are possibly due to weight loss from colorectal cancer that may obscure its relation to obesity.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: Thus, to better define the role of obesity as a risk factor for early-onset CRC, we looked at prior obesity history using the NHANES national-level database. Per our data, a 100% of adults with early-onset colorectal cancer had a prior obesity at one point in their life vs. 46.1% of controls <50 years without CRC and 51.5% of adults who were diagnosed with CRC ≥50. Adults with early-onset CRC also had an earlier age of diabetes onset compared to controls. These data support a hypothesis that obesity may be shifting the risk of colorectal cancer to a younger age.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: This rise in early-onset colorectal cancer is critical as young adults comprise a significant portion of the U.S population and are most vulnerable to the economic consequences of cancer. Our finding add to the existing evidence suggesting that having obesity in early life can increase the subsequent risk of early-onset CRC.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Future prospective studies confirming the role of early-life obesity as a risk factor for early-onset CRC are needed to further validate our findings. In addition, preventative strategies assessing the impact of weight loss early in life on risk of early-onset CRC are urgently needed.

No disclosures to add.

Citation: ACG abstract:2020

The Associations Between Obesity and Early Onset Colorectal Cancer: A Propensity-Weighted Analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)


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Last Updated on November 5, 2020 by Marie Benz MD FAAD