Metabolic Syndrome Increases Colorectal Cancer Risk

People with a combination of three common medical conditions together known as metabolic syndrome have a greatly increased risk of colorectal cancer.  The three are hypertension, diabetes and elevated cholesterol.

Reviewing answers the the National Health Interview Survey, researchers found that people who reported metabolic syndrome conditions were almost twice as likely to have colorectal cancer.  Nearly 58,000 people were interviewed by the NHIS in 2002-2003.  Of those 1,200 had metabolic syndrome and 350 had been diagnosed with colorectal cancer. 

After controlling for age, race, gender, obesity, smoking and alcohol use, people with metabolic syndrome had a 75 percent increased risk of also having colon or rectal cancer.

Dr. Donald Garrow of the Medical University of South Carolina, who reported the results of his study at the 2008 annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology, said,

Since individuals with the metabolic syndrome have a significantly higher lifetime risk of colorectal cancer, they should closely adhere to published guidelines for colorectal cancer screening.

SOURCE: Garrow et al., Metabolic Syndrome is a Risk Factor for Colorectal Cancer in the United States, American College of Gastroenterology 2008 Annual Scientific Meeting, October 6, 2008.

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