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Dear teens, are you overweight? Beware, you may be at risk of colon cancer

Obesity is linked to a 71% increased risk of rectal cancer in men, and more than a two-fold increased risk in women.

fitness Updated: Jul 25, 2017 10:21 IST
Press Trust of India, Jerusalem
A cancer of the colon or rectum is the third most common cancer in the world.(Shutterstock)

Here’s one more reason for teenagers to get fit. A study warns that adolescents who are overweight or obese may be at an increased risk of developing colon cancer as adults. Researchers from Tel Aviv University in Israel found that being overweight and obese was associated with 53% and 54% higher risks of colon cancer for men and women, respectively. Past studies have shown that while the Indian vegetarian diet makes us prone to colon cancer, you can guard yourself against the disease by eating almonds, walnuts, cashews.

Obesity was associated with a 71% increased risk of rectal cancer in men and more than a two fold increased risk in women, researchers said. “This is a huge cohort with a minimum follow up of 10 years, and all individuals had measured Body Mass Index (BMI), not just reported or recalled,” said Zohar Levi from Tel Aviv University.

Researchers analysed information of 1,087,358 Jewish males and 707,212 Jewish females who underwent health examinations, including measures of BMI, at age 16 to 19 years (predominantly aged 17 years) between 1967 and 2002. Individuals were followed till 2012.

They found that over a median follow-up of 23 years, 2,967 new cases of colorectal cancer were identified, including 1,977 among men (1,403 colon, 574 rectum) and 990 among women (764 colon, 226 rectum).

The study was published in the journal Cancer.

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First Published: Jul 25, 2017 10:16 IST