Body Mass Index and Up-to-Date Colorectal Cancer Screening Among Marylanders Aged 50 Years and Older
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Body Mass Index and Up-to-Date Colorectal Cancer Screening Among Marylanders Aged 50 Years and Older

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      Prev Chronic Dis
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      Overweight and obese individuals are at increased risk for developing and dying from colorectal cancer. Studies suggest that overweight and obese women are more likely to avoid or delay cancer screening. Our objective was to determine whether overweight or obese adults aged 50 years and older living in Maryland in 2002 were less likely to be up-to-date with colorectal cancer screening than normal and underweight adults.


      The relationship between body mass index and colorectal cancer screening was evaluated based on responses from 3436 participants aged 50 years and older to the Maryland Cancer Survey 2002, a population-based random-digit–dial telephone survey. The survey contains self-reported information on colorectal cancer screening, height, weight, and potential confounders. Logistic regression was performed to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), adjusted for age, sex, race, employment, marital status, education, area of residence, and health-care–related variables.


      Overall, 64.9% of Marylanders aged 50 and older were up-to-date with colorectal cancer screening. Compared with normal and underweight individuals, overweight individuals had similar odds of being up-to-date with colorectal cancer screening (OR, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.83–1.33). Obese individuals had slightly lower odds, but this difference was not statistically significant (OR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.65–1.09). Recommendation by a health care provider for colorectal cancer screening was strongly associated with up-to-date colorectal cancer screening (OR, 36.7; 95% CI, 28.7–47.0).


      Our study shows no statistically significant association between body mass index levels and up-to-date colorectal cancer screening. We recommend that physicians and other health care providers increase up-to-date colorectal cancer screening rates in the population by referring their patients for appropriate screening.

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