Colorectal Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Anthropometric Factors and Colorectal Cancer Risk Among Black Women

By: Cordi Craig
Posted: Tuesday, March 24, 2020

A study published in Cancer Causes & Control suggested that body mass index and other indicators of obesity did not appear to be associated with an increased risk or early-onset risk of colorectal cancer among black women. However, Chiranjeev Dash, MBBS, MPH, PhD, of Georgetown University, Washington, DC, and colleagues, found that factors including body mass index, waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, and weight change were associated with an increased risk of proximal colon adenomas among black women older than age 50.

Using the ongoing Black Women’s Health Study, 59,000 women enrolled in response to health questionnaires. The questionnaires requested anthropometric factors including weight, height, waist circumference, and weight at age 18. The research team calculated body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, and weight change. In a case-control analysis, the researchers compared 954 cases of colorectal adenoma with 3,816 polyp-free controls.

Throughout a 16-year follow-up, 413 cases of colorectal cancer were identified. Body mass index and other anthropometric factors associated with obesity were not associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer or adenomas in black women. In women older than age 50, the researchers observed a 14% increased risk of proximal colon adenomas with each standard deviation increase in body mass index. Similarly, 35% and 25% increased risks of adenomas were reported with each standard deviation increase in waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio, respectively. However, none of the measured factors were associated with a younger onset of cancer or adenoma risk.

“More studies in minority populations are needed to firmly establish the role of obesity in colorectal risk,” the researchers concluded.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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