Obesity is associated with an increased prevalence of advanced adenomatous colon polyps in a male veteran population

Dig Dis Sci. 2009 Jul;54(7):1560-4. doi: 10.1007/s10620-009-0811-7. Epub 2009 Apr 28.


Obesity has been associated with an increased risk for colonic adenomatous polyps (APs) and colorectal cancers, but the influence of obesity on the development of advanced APs is not clear. The purpose of this study is to determine the influence of obesity on the prevalence of advanced APs in a male veteran population. We performed a retrospective study of patients (n = 2,903) with histologically confirmed APs on an index colonoscopy. APs were evaluated for advanced features (size > or = 1 cm in diameter and/or a villous component and/or high grade dysplasia). Patients were categorized as: normal weight (BMI > 18.5 and < 25), overweight (BMI > or = 25 and < 30), and obese (BMI > or = 30). An association between clinical factors and advanced APs was sought by Kruskal-Wallis test and Pearson Chi-square. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to determine independent predictors for advanced APs. We identified 2,903 male patients with APs (mean age 64 + 1.1(SE) years; 770 (27%) normal weight, 1,029 (35%) overweight, 1,104 (38%) obese. By univariate analysis, obese patients had a greater prevalence of advanced APs than the overweight and normal weight patients (28 vs. 23 vs. 24%, p = 0.025). Multiple logistic regression analysis confirmed the association of obesity and advanced APs (OR = 1.01, CI = 1-1.02, p = 0.04). For every one-unit increase in BMI above 30, there was a corresponding 1% increase in the frequency of finding advanced APs. Obesity in male veteran patients is associated with the finding of advanced APs on colonoscopy. We speculate that obesity may increase the risk for CRC by promoting the development of advanced APs.

MeSH terms

  • Adenomatous Polyps / epidemiology*
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Colonic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Veterans