Racial differences in obesity measures and risk of colorectal adenomas in a large screening population

Caitlin C. Murphy, Christopher F. Martin, Robert S. Sandler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Obesity is an important risk factor for colorectal neoplasia; however, little research exists on racial differences in obesity measures [body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and waist-hip-ratio (WHR)] associated with adenoma. We used data from the Diet and Health Studies, Phases III-V to examine differences in the contribution of obesity measures to adenoma risk by race. The sample consisted of 2184 patients (1806 white, 378 African American) undergoing outpatient colonoscopy for average risk screening. Covariates included demographics, health history, and validated measures of diet and physical activity. Among whites, BMI [overweight: odds ratio (OR) = 1.31, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.00-1.71; obese: OR = 1.89, 95% CI, 1.41-2.56), WC (OR = 1.47, 95% CI, 1.09-1.99), and WHR (OR = 1.60, 95% CI, 1.24-2.06) were associated with adenomas. BMI was not associated with adenomas in African Americans. Although the CIs were wide, the point estimates for WHR (OR = 1.07, 95% CI, 0.51-2.22) and WC (OR = 1.04, 95% CI, 0.56-1.92) were slightly elevated above the null. BMI was associated with adenomas only among whites, whereas WHR and WC appeared to be important risk factors among both races. Racial differences in adenoma risk may be due to differences in body shape and weight and/or fat distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-104
Number of pages7
JournalNutrition and Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Oncology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Racial differences in obesity measures and risk of colorectal adenomas in a large screening population'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this