Breaking News from Digestive Disease Week: Obesity Affects Surgical Outcomes and Increases Colon Cancer

Sara Editor
  • Obesity's affect on everyday wellness and health has been well studied and thoroughly documented. Now, new research suggests that obesity can cause complications in certain types of surgery and can more than double a patient's risk of developing colon cancer later in life.


    One study, conducted by researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in Houston, Texas followed 150 patients who underwent rectal cancer surgery. Of those participants, the patients with a waist circumference of 45 inches or more were more than three times more likely to experience surgical site infections and twice as likes to require reoperation after their initial surgery, making the surgery quite dangerous for overweight or obese patients.

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    According to head researcher, David H. Berger, MD, MHCM, the study also reveals waist circumference is a better indicator of potential surgical complications than body mass index (BMI), stating that BMI "misses the nuances of obesity because it is unable to demonstrate where the fat is distributed on the patient."


    Meanwhile, a study out of New York University (NYU) in New York City, finds that obese adults who were obese in childhood and early adult hood are more than twice as likely to develop colon cancer compared to adults with consistently normal weight throughout their lifespan. 

    Fritz Francois, MD, MS, and a team of researchers studied the current and past BMI and waist circumference of 1,865 patients who were referred for a screening colonoscopy. From their analysis, 27 percent of consistently overweight or obese patients had polyps compared to only 13 percent of people with consistently normal weight and overweight BMI at the present.


    According to Dr. Fancois, the findings might help clinician "better identify individuals in need of screening colonoscopies" based on the new found increased risk in obese patients.


    Obesity is not just about your everyday wellness or quality of life.  These and countless other studies indicate that it can imply serious health complications in situtations completely beyond your control.  What step will you take today to help you or your loved ones beat obesity?


Published On: May 04, 2010