Adolescents who are overweight or obese may be at an increased risk of developing colon cancer as adults, a study warns.
Researchers from Tel Aviv University in Israel found that being overweight and obese was associated with 53 per cent and 54 per cent higher risks of colon cancer for men and women, respectively.
Obesity was associated with a 71 per cent 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.