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Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2012;13(8):3873-7.

Colorectal cancer and its association with the metabolic syndrome: a Malaysian multi-centric case-control study.

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Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University Putra Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.



Colorectal cancer (CRC) and the metabolic syndrome (MetS) are both on the rise in Malaysia. A multi-centric case-control study was conducted from December 2009 to January 2011 to determine any relationship between the two.


Patients with confirmed CRC based on colonoscopy findings and cancer free controls from five local hospitals were assessed for MetS according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) definition. Each index case was matched for age, gender and ethnicity with two controls (140: 280).


MetS among cases was highly prevalent (70.7%), especially among women (68.7%). MetS as an entity increased CRC risk by almost three fold independently (OR=2.61, 95%CI=1.53-4.47). In men MetS increased the risk of CRC by two fold (OR=2.01, 95%CI, 1.43-4.56), demonstrating an increasing trend in risk with the number of Mets components observed.


This study provides evidence for a positive association between the metabolic syndrome and colorectal cancer. A prospective study on the Malaysian population is a high priority to confirm these findings.

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