Bottom Line: Obesity was associated with an increased risk of early onset colorectal cancer (CRC) among women younger than 50.
Why The Research Is Interesting: New cases of CRC and death are increasing among people younger than 50 and the reasons for this are largely unknown. This study used data from a large group of women in the Nurses’ Health Study II to examine the association of obesity with CRC diagnosed before age 50.
Who and When: 85,256 women ages 25 to 42 who were free of cancer and inflammatory bowel disease when they enrolled in the study and followed up from 1989 through 2011.
What (Study Measures and Outcomes): Current body mass index (BMI), BMI at age 18 and weight gain since age 18 (exposures); relative risk, which is a statistical measure of probability, for new early onset CRC (outcome)
Study Design: This was an observational study. Researchers were not intervening for purposes of the study and cannot totally control for all the natural differences that could explain the study results.
Authors: Yin Cao, M.P.H., Sc.D., of the Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, and coauthors
Results: There were 114 cases of early onset CRC among the 85,256 women studied. Higher current
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