Obese and underweight postmenopausal women diagnosed with colon cancer may face increased risk of dying from disease
Not only was it the weight but also where ast was carried. Researchs also found that postmenopausal women who are “underweight” or “obese” and who carried extra weight around their abdomen—the apple body shape—when diagnosed with colon cancer may be at increased risk of dying from the disease. This is among the first research studies to examine the link between waist-to-hip and waist obesity and survival of cancer patients.
The study involved data on 1,096 women enrolled in the Iowa Women’s Health Study who were diagnosed with colon cancer and followed over a maximum 20-year period. During that time. THe study is published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention
The researchers found:
- Obese women with a body mass index (BMI) of at least 30kg/m2 had a 45 percent increased overall mortality rate.
- Women classified as underweight, with a BMI less than 18.5 kg/m2, had an 89 percent increased mortality rate compared to women with normal BMI.
- Apple-shaped women with high waist-to-hip ratio had a 30 to 40 percent greater risk of death related to colon cancer.
“The exact mechanisms underlying the link between obesity and higher mortality of colon cancer patients are unknown,” says Anna Prizment, Ph.D the lead author on the study. “Obese people may be diagnosed at a later stage, receive different treatment, or have other health problems.
“However, the facts that the increased abdominal obesity was associated with colon cancer death and those associations persisted after correcting for age, stage of cancer diagnosis, and other health problems, indicate that obesity may have a direct biological effect,” explains Prizment. “Obese women, especially those with higher abdominal obesity, have higher hormone levels and may have a more aggressive cancer. These types of women are already known to have a higher risk of developing colon cancer.”