Obese and overweight people are more likely to develop colon polyps, a possible precursor to cancer, than slimmer people, according to an international study.
Previous studies have made the connection between obesity and colon cancer, a link recognized by the US National Cancer Institute. But the current study, which appeared in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, is the first to point to a higher risk of colon polyps - also known as adenomas - in heavy people.
"Because there is a known association between obesity and cancer, there is a logical extension to expect a connection between obesity and the step before cancer, which is adenoma," said Hutan Ashrafian from Imperial College, London, who co-authored the study.
Ashrafian and his colleagues analyzed data from 23 studies involving more than 100,000 people across the United States, Asia and Europe, looking at the relationship between polyps and body mass index, or BMI, a measure of weight relative to height.
All the studies followed World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines that define people with a BMI over 25 as overweight and above 30 as obese.
In most studies, polyps were identified during colonoscopy procedures while two large studies used self-reported questionnaires.
Overall, researchers found that 22 percent of overweight and obese people had colon polyps, compared to 19 percent in people of normal weight. The polyp risk grew with increasing BMI.
"The findings suggest that obesity may be having an effect (on cancer development) much earlier than we thought," said Ashrafian, who with his fellow authors recommended timely colon cancer screening for overweight and obese people.
The findings couldn't say whether obesity causes polyps by itself, but if it does, that may be bad news for a world where obesity is on the rise.
According to the World Health Organization, about 500 million people worldwide are obese. Colon cancer killed more than half a million people worldwide in 2008, WHO figures show. SOURCE: http://bit.ly/QgLHRO
Some 54 people have died in or near the capital Accra, and around 300 people are now being infected daily with the highly contagious disease, putting pressure on local health facilities, said Linda Van-Otoo, GHS director for Greater Accra.
A Philippine seaman is being monitored in Togo for signs of the disease but authorities say the country is still Ebola-free, despite dozens of workers returning from Liberia.
A 36-year-old man from Senegal is being tested in Barcelona.
MSF (Doctors Without Borders) has deployed 1,000 of its own staff in the stricken region, running centres that currently have 300 beds
On Wednesday, the residents of the two communities woke up just after the president ordered the quarantine only to find their community barricaded with soldiers and police officers preventing people from leaving or entering the two areas.
They were given ZMapp, a drug used on a handful of patients in the West African outbreak and produced by U.S.-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical.
A local priest who asked not to be named said that the illness had affected several villages and estimated that the death toll was over 100 people.
The calculation highlights the dilemma facing officials considering how to distribute the tiny quantities of unproven drugs that are likely to be available in the near term
"We are hopeful and grateful to God and to the medical team that they are showing signs of improvement," Liberia's Information Minister Lewis Brown told a press conference on Tuesday.
The decision came as the Ivorian national football team is due to face Sierra Leone, one of the countries that had been hard hit by the Ebola outbreak, next month in Abidjan as part of the Africa Cup of Nations 2015 qualifiers.
Infant products are particularly vulnerable to food safety scares in China after powdered milk tainted with the industrial chemical melamine led to the deaths of at least six infants in 2008
Countries that do not have Ebola cases must strengthen their capacity to detect and contain any cases immediately, the WHO said
At least twenty patients broke out of quarantine in the Liberian capital after protesters looted a medical clinic.
At the end of last year, 13,254 tonnes of spent fuel was being held in temporary storage at nuclear plants, according to data from the commission, mostly in water tanks but some in concrete containers.
The 35-year-old Nigerian woman was en route to India on a treatment tour from advanced cancer.