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
The United Nations is hoping to raise $400 million over two years to reduce the current cholera caseload of 30,000 to 10,000 by the end of 2018 and provide clean water and sanitation.
Steven Cooke, a biology professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, says that the very tools used by scientists to study and protect animals and fish are being hijacked to do just the opposite.
Matthew Mitchell was helping his dad clear out the back shed at their home north of Sydney when he was bitten on the finger by a funnel-web spider, that had been lurking in his shoe.
The study found that about a third of antidepressants are prescribed for conditions other than depression.
Virtually all of the kingdom's power currently comes from crude, refined oil or natural gas.
At least 269 human infections reported in country since January, with at least 87 fatalities, according to state media
The appropriately named robusta coffee comes from the Coffea canephora plant, which is being increasingly planted in the Central American country under government authorization.
In a trial, MRI scans revealed which infant brains were growing at a faster-than-normal rate -- a telltale sign of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), they wrote in the science journal Nature.
New study indicates fasting for 5 days per month can also lower blood pressure
Gene editing should only be used to prevent suffering, international group of scientists asserts
Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda outperformed their peers in access to energy, while Pakistan made progress on renewable energy, and Vietnam had developed policies on energy efficiency.
Doctors call 48-hour job action to protest jailing of 7 doctors union leaders
In total, an estimated 666 whales were stranded in two pods on Friday and Saturday at Farewell Spit, on the northern tip of the South Island.
Fishermen blame the national power firm Elektroprivreda BiH, which manages the Jablanica dam and the hydroelectric power station about 30 kilometres west of the lake.
One fallout of the war in Yemen has been a slump in agricultural production across the country, contributing to soaring malnutrition.
Quinoa thrives at any altitude up to 4,000 metres (13,000 feet) above sea level, in conditions that would leave most food plants struggling.