Body Mass Index in children shows association with risk of colon cancer later in life

April 18, 2019

Colorectal cancers are the third most common form of cancer found in adults around the world. Developed countries, in particular, have the highest rates of colorectal cancer. Adjustable risk factors for this form of cancer include a high calorie diet, smoking, alcohol consumption, and a high body mass index (BMI).

Currently, the influence of childhood and adolescent BMI for increased risk of colorectal cancer is unknown. According to a new study, however, led by Jimmy Celind, M.D., childhood BMI around 8 years of age has been associated with a significant increased risk of colon cancer. The association for colon cancer was found within individuals above the median. Rectal cancer, however, did not appear to be affected by childhood or adolescent BMI.

An important limitation for this study was the inability to control for other severe risk factors. This would indicate that other factors may have played a role in the development of this disease within individuals surveyed. Researchers of this study suggest further examination, evaluating prepubertal BMI compared to BMI in middle age to determine risk differential.

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