Serum cholesterol and colorectal polyps

J Clin Epidemiol. 1988;41(1):9-13. doi: 10.1016/0895-4356(88)90003-0.


Colorectal cancer and hypocholesterolemia have recently been associated, and colorectal polyps have a known relationship with colorectal cancer. In order to establish further evidence regarding the nature of the serum cholesterol-colorectal cancer relationship, this study investigated the hypothesis that men with colorectal polyps would have lower serum cholesterol levels than men without polyps. Of the 1380 men screened by sigmoidoscopy for colorectal polyps, 246 had at least one polyp. The men with polyps were older than those without, and also had higher cholesterol levels, but after controlling for age, there were no serum cholesterol differences. These data suggest that low serum cholesterol is not etiologically linked to cancer. Analyses of potentially confounding variables showed smoking to be strongly related to the presence of polyps.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Colonic Polyps / blood*
  • Colonic Polyps / diagnosis
  • Colonic Polyps / genetics
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Polyps / blood*
  • Intestinal Polyps / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Rectal Neoplasms / blood*
  • Rectal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Rectal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sigmoidoscopy
  • Smoking


  • Cholesterol