Men are faced with a higher possibility to have potentially precancerous lesions at an early age when compared to women, says a new study.

The researchers from the Austrian Society for Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Vienna, Austria conducted this study.

In our study, analysis of age- and sex-specific prevalence of adenomas, advanced adenomas and colorectal cancers indicates a significantly higher rate of these lesions among men compared with women in all age groups, suggesting that male sex constitutes an independent risk factor for colorectal carcinoma and their precursor lesions, and indicating new sex-specific age recommendations for screening colonoscopy, said study author Dr. Monika Ferlitsch, an associate professor of medicine at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria.

The study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study included 44,350 Austrians who participated in a national colonoscopy screening program. The average age of the study participants was 60.7 years for men and 60.6 years for women. They were looking for the most appropriate age for the first colonoscopy to occur in both men and women.

As of now, both males and females are screened for colorectal cancer at the age of 50 years because the prevalence of the disease rises from this age onward.

As per the study, the colorectal cancer rate among men was over double that of women - 1.5% versus 0.7%. The rate among 65 to 69 years old females at 1.2% was similar to that of 55 to 59 years old males at 1.3%.

The findings also showed that men got precancerous polyps and colon cancers 10 years earlier than women.

While the reasons for the difference are still unclear, Ferlitsh said it could be linked to a higher degree of overweight and fatty liver disease among men, both of which have been linked to colon cancer.