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Obesity, gender, and colon cancer
  1. E Giovannucci
  1. Harvard Medical School, Channing Laboratory, 181 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA;

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Obesity is associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer in premenopausal but not postmenopausal women

Many studies have shown that a high body mass index (BMI) is related to an increased risk of colon cancer in men but this relationship has not been as consistent in studies of women. However, an association between BMI and colon cancer risk is observed in cohorts of relatively young women, and among younger women in case control studies that stratified results by age.1 In addition, a recent cohort study found a positive association between BMI and colorectal cancer among women less than 55 years of age but not among older women.2 These studies did not examine the association between BMI and colon cancer risk by menopausal status but the clearer association with younger women suggested that an association between BMI and colon cancer risk may be stronger for, or perhaps even limited to, premenopausal women.2

A study by Terry and colleagues3 in the current issue of Gut tested the hypothesis that menopausal status modifies the relationship between BMI and colon cancer risk [see 191] …

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