Medical practitioners have emphasized the importance of healthy weight maintenance for improving general health, and a large study has also indicated that the risk of future gastrointestinal cancer could also be reduced.1✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
The researchers discovered that an obese or overweight BMI in early and middle adulthood is linked to an increase in gastrointestinal cancer risk. It was also found that regular aspirin use didn’t modify this increase in risk in obese and overweight people.
Colorectal cancer is the 3rd most common cancer in women and men in the US. Even though screening improvements have led to many earlier-stage cancer detections, over 150,000 new rectal and colon cancer cases are diagnosed every year.
As obesity rates are increasing all over the world and 70% of the American population is regarded as obese or overweight, understanding the relationship between obesity and the risk of long-term disease, which includes cancer, is essential for the improvement of public health.
This study indicates that being obese or overweight throughout some stages of life can increase an individual’s risk of gastrointestinal cancers later in life.
The researchers wished to understand how changes in BMI that occur throughout a few stages of adulthood can affect gastrointestinal cancer risk.
Previously collected data were evaluated from 131,161 individuals enrolled in a randomized study that investigated the effectiveness of ovarian, colorectal, lung, and prostate cancer screening examinations for reducing cancer-related mortality. The study was carried out between 1993 and 2001 in individuals who were between the ages of 55 and 74 when enrolling.
Obesity is a result of the buildup and accumulation of white adipose tissue. An inflammatory response can be triggered and immune cell dysfunction promoted by adipose cells that results in the development of disease which includes cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, metabolic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, and some cancers affected by fat cells.
Age 20 was regarded as early adulthood for this analysis, middle adulthood was regarded as age 50, and age 55 or older was regarded as later adulthood.
BMI was determined according to data from questionnaires about height and weight completed by the participants at the original enrollment time at these age points.
They were then classified based on the WHO’s standards of underweight which is a BMI of less than 18.5, normal which is a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9, overweight which is a BMI of 25 to 29.9, and obese which is a BMI of over 30.
They were also requested to report how frequently aspirin or aspirin-containing products were taken during the study. They were then followed for 13 years.
An increased gastrointestinal cancer risk was observed in obese and overweight individuals in early, middle, and later adulthood. A BMI that increased over time was also linked to an increased risk of colorectal and non-colorectal gastrointestinal cancers. This relationship wasn’t changed by regular aspirin use.