(HealthDay News) — Among obese individuals, those who undergo bariatric surgery have an approximately 35 percent lower risk for developing colorectal cancer than those who do not undergo surgery, according to a review and meta-analysis published online Jan. 24 in the British Journal of Surgery.

Sulaiman Almazeedi, M.D., from the Jaber Al-Ahmed Hospital in Kuwait City, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature search to identify studies investigating the effect of bariatric surgery on the risk for developing colorectal cancer in obese individuals.

Based on the analysis of data from seven studies, involving a total of 1,213,727 patients, the researchers found that the pooled estimate of the relative risk for developing colorectal cancer was 0.64 for obese patients undergoing bariatric surgery. There was no significant publication bias noted. Sample size was a statistically significant factor related to the relative risk, but year of publication, region, and mean duration of follow-up were not significantly related.

“Day by day, the scientific community is continuing to uncover the benefits of weight loss surgery, and this paper affirms this,” Almazeedi said in a statement. “Obesity today remains one of the most preventable causes of morbid disease and early death, and despite the controversy, we believe weight loss surgery can be an important tool in tackling this epidemic.”

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)