HealthDay News — Even normal-weight women may be at greater risk for colorectal cancer if they have certain traits, such as elevated triglycerides, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, and elevated fasting glucose, according to a study published online February 1 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
The study involved normal-weight postmenopausal women, aged 50 to 79. The research team’s analysis involved 5,068 women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative, a 15-year study led by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
One-third of the women in the study were deemed metabolically unhealthy, meaning they had two or more risk factors of metabolic syndrome (excluding waist measurement). The researchers found that normal-weight women who were metabolically unhealthy had an increased risk of colorectal cancer (hazard ratio, 1.49; 95% confidence interval, 1.02 to 2.18), compared with metabolically-healthy women.
“A metabolically unhealthy phenotype was associated with higher risk of colorectal cancer among normal-weight women,” the authors write. “Normal-weight women should still be evaluated for metabolic health and appropriate steps taken to reduce their risk of colorectal cancer.”