Metabolic syndrome ups colorectal cancer risk

October 6, 2008

In a large U.S. population-based study presented at the 73rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology, metabolic syndrome patients had a 75 percent higher risk of colorectal cancer compared to those without metabolic syndrome.

Dr. Donald Garrow and Dr. Mark Delegge of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston analyzed data of patients who reported a history of metabolic syndrome and colorectal cancer from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), a comprehensive nationally representative study conducted each year by the National Center for Health Statistics.

Metabolic syndrome was defined as having a combination of three common chronic medical conditions: hypertension, diabetes and elevated cholesterol. The risk of colorectal cancer among patients with metabolic syndrome was determined by multivariate logistic regression analysis, controlling for age, race, gender, obesity, smoking and alcohol use.

"Since individuals with the metabolic syndrome have a significantly higher lifetime risk of colorectal cancer, they should closely adhere to published guidelines for colorectal cancer screening," said Dr. Garrow.

About Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome refers to a group of risk factors linked to overweight and obesity that increase your chance for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other serious health problems.

Having just one of these conditions — increased blood pressure, elevated insulin levels, excess body fat around the waist, or abnormal cholesterol levels — contributes to your risk of serious disease. Losing weight, eating a healthy diet, and exercising routinely can help to reduce your risk of metabolic syndrome.

New Education Tools From GI Experts Address Obesity and GI Disease

The American College of Gastroenterology recognizes that the epidemic of obesity is of particular relevance to gastroenterologists because of the clearly documented associations of obesity with a number of gastrointestinal disease risk factors and outcomes, including mortality rates and unfavorable risk profiles.

The ACG has developed new resource tools to help physicians incorporate patient education on the risks overweight and obesity. These educational resources on weight and GI health are available on the ACG Web site at

Source: American College of Gastroenterology

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