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Metabolic Syndrome Increases Cancer Risk by 75% in New Study

A study released in October 2008 at the 73rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology found that individuals with metabolic syndrome have a 75 percent higher risk of colorectal cancer.

Metabolic syndrome is a condition characterized by a combination of several risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, inflammation and diabetes. According to the American Heart Association, it is defined as three or more of the following:

1. A waistline greater than 40 for men or 35 for women
2. Good (HDL) cholesterol under 40mg/dL for men or 50mg/dL for women
3. Triglyceride levels over 150mg/dL
4. Blood pressure over 130/85mm Hg or the use of blood pressure medicine
5. Elevated levels of C-reactive protein
6. Insulin resistance, glucose intolerance or the use of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) medicine

For the study, researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston reviewed data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). The NHIS survey is a health survey that includes about 100,000 people across the country and is conducted each year by the National Center for Health Statistics.

Researchers analyzed data from the survey using a method called multivariate logistic regression analysis. This type of analysis is used to control outside influences like age, race, gender, obesity, smoking and alcohol use. After taking these variables into account, the researchers found that people with metabolic syndrome had a 75 percent higher risk of colorectal cancer.

These are important findings for anyone with metabolic syndrome because it highlights the necessity for regular colon cancer screenings. According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer related deaths in the United States but early diagnosis often results in full recovery.

Metabolic syndrome has also been associated with a number of other health issues, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. A healthy diet low in saturated fats and regular exercise are both effective ways to lower your risk of metabolic syndrome.
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