Major and Classification
Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Studies
- Jane Figueiredo, Ph.D.
- Keck School of Medicine, Preventive Medicine
McNair ProjectGender-Specific Differences in the Prevalence of Malignant Polyps: A Study focused on Diabetic and Non-Diabetic Hispanics with Colorectal Cancer
Incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) has been attributed to racial differences where Hispanics have been found to experience higher incidence rates when compared to non-Hispanic whites (Ortiz, et al., 2012). Like CRC, diabetes is also a disease that has become increasingly common in westernized countries. Similarities between both diseases include common risk factors such as being over weight, which is often caused by unhealthy diets (Giovannucci, et al., 2010). In addition, previously conducted research has indicated that increased levels of HbA1c (glycated hemoglobin) are associated with both a higher occurrence of adenomatous (premalignant) polyps and an increased risk of diabetes (Schoen, et al., 2005). The significance of previous findings is extended by the present investigation, which analyzes the prevalence of malignant polyps (tumors on the lining of the colon or rectum) between diabetic and non-diabetic Hispanics with colorectal cancer when evaluated by gender. Consisting of 847 self-identified Hispanic patients, recruited from the California Cancer Registry, the study population was utilized to gather detailed nutritional information and history of diabetes. The presented data was collected using a questionnaire that was completed by each participant either in person or by telephone with the help of trained personal. After analyzing the study population's demographic factors and the CRC risk factors associated with diabetic status among men and women, the results yielded trends between diabetic men and increased consumption of red meat. Interestingly, the results also identified a lower prevalence of malignant polyps trend in diabetic women. Nevertheless, the calculated probability values (p-values) of this investigation also demonstrated significant differences in nutritional risk factors between men and women. That is, men were found to consume more 3 oz. servings of meat per week whereas women were found to consume more servings of fruit and vegetables per day. These findings may be valuable for future research focused on gender-specific differences in CRC nutritional risk factors within the Hispanic population.