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BMC Public Health. 2004 Nov 8;4:53.

Overweight, obesity, and colorectal cancer screening: disparity between men and women.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, White Plains, NY, USA. <>



To estimate the association between body-mass index (BMI: kg/m2) and colorectal cancer (CRC) screening among US adults aged >or= 50 years.


Population-based data from the 2001 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey. Adults (N = 84,284) aged >or= 50 years were classified by BMI as normal weight (18.5-<25), overweight (25-<30), obesity class I (30-<35), obesity class II (35-<40), and obesity class III (>or= 40). Interval since most recent screening fecal occult blood test (FOBT): (0 = >1 year since last screening vs. 1 = screened within the past year), and screening sigmoidoscopy (SIG): (0 = > 5 years since last screening vs. 1 = within the past 5 years) were the outcomes.


Results differed between men and women. After adjusting for age, health insurance, race, and smoking, we found that, compared to normal weight men, men in the overweight (odds ratio [OR] 1.25, 95% CI = 1.05-1.51) and obesity class I (OR = 1.21, 95% CI = 1.03-1.75) categories were more likely to have obtained a screening SIG within the previous 5 years, while women in the obesity class I (OR = 0.86, 95%CI = 0.78-0.94) and II (OR = 0.88, 95%CI = 0.79-0.99) categories were less likely to have obtained a screening SIG compared to normal weight women. BMI was not associated with FOBT.


Weight may be a correlate of CRC screening behavior but in a different way between men and women.

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