A recent study at the European Institute of Oncology, Milan, has revealed that smoking can double risk of developing colorectal polyps, the suspected cause of colorectal cancers.
The meta-analysis based on the collective evidence from 42 independent observational studies revealed that approximately 20 percent to 25 percent of colorectal polyps might be an outcome of smoking.
The study by Edoardo Botteri found that the combined risk of current smokers was 2.14 against never smokers, the risk of regular smokers was 1.82 against never smokers and 1.47 for former against never smokers.
Regular smokers had a 13 percent enhanced risk of polyps for every additional 10 pack-years smoked in comparison to never smokers.
"While the harmful health effects of tobacco smoking are well known, smoking has not been considered so far in the stratification of patients for CRC screening," said Albert B. Lowenfels, MD, senior author of the study, from New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York.
"Our findings could support lowering the recommended age for smokers to receive colorectal cancer screening," he added.
The study appears in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute.