Higher bone mineral density is associated with a decreased risk of colorectal adenomas

Nora L. Nock, Aimee Patrick-Melin, Marc Cook, Cheryl Thompson, John P. Kirwan, Li Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Bone mineral density (BMD) is a biomarker for cumulative exposure to multiple factors including estrogen, calcium, vitamin D and physical activity, which have all been independently associated with colorectal cancer. Furthermore, higher levels of BMD have been inversely associated with colorectal cancer risk, particularly in postmenopausal women. However, no prior studies have examined the potential association between BMD and colorectal adenomas, which are precursor lesions to most colorectal cancers. Therefore, we evaluated the association between BMD, which was measured using a whole body, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan and colorectal adenomas in 167 patients who underwent colonoscopy screening. We found that patients in the highest tertile of total body BMD (>1.294 g/cm2) and in the middle tertile (≥1.167 to >1.294 g/cm2) compared to those with a total body BMD in the lowest tertile (<1.167 g/cm2) had a lower risk of colorectal adenomas (highest vs. lowest tertile: OR = 0.29 (0.10-0.84); middle vs. lowest tertile: OR = 0.26 (0.08-0.80); p-trend = 0.02). Stratification by gender revealed that this association was more pronounced in women (highest (>1.280 g/cm2) vs. lowest (<1.130 g/cm2) tertile: OR = 0.08 (0.01-0.70); middle (âyen1.130 to a;circ1.280 g/cm2) vs. lowest tertile: OR = 0.15 (0.04-0.94); p-trend = 0.02) even after excluding hormone replacement therapy users (highest (>1.295 g/cm2) and middle (≥1.132 to >1.295 g/cm2) vs. lowest (<1.132 g/cm 2) tertile: OR = 0.17 (0.03-0.97); p-trend = 0.04). Our results show, for the first time, that BMD is inversely associated with colorectal adenomas, particularly in women. Although additional larger, prospective studies are needed, our results suggest that BMD may be a biomarker for colorectal cancer precursor lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)956-964
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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