Higher BMI, body fat, and larger waist and hips pose a similar risk for
Obesity increases the risk of developing 10 of the most common cancers, regardless of how it is measured, according to a study of over 400,000 adults in the UK, presented at the European Congress on Obesity (ECO) organized in line this year, with central fat (wider waist and hips) and general obesity (body mass index [BMI] and percentage of body fat) associated with similar estimates of cancer risk.
The results suggest that BMI is an adequate measure of cancer risk from being overweight, and there is no benefit to using more complicated or expensive measurements such as waist circumference or body fat percentage. .
It is well known that being overweight or obese is linked to a high risk of certain cancers and premature death. However, most of the evidence is based on BMI, and little is known about the association between cancer and other markers of adiposity (eg, central obesity and body fat).
Using data from the UK Biobank prospective cohort study, researchers at the University of Glasgow identified 437,393 adults (54% female; mean age 56) without cancer, to study the risk of developing and die from 24 cancers according to six markers. obesity: BMI, body fat percentage, waist-to-hip ratio, waist-to-waist ratio, and waist and hip circumferences.
Results were adjusted for age, gender, ethnicity, deprivation, education, smoking, alcohol consumption, fruit and vegetable consumption, meat red and processed, oily fish, physical activity and sedentary behaviors. . After a mean follow-up of 9 years, there were 47,882 cancer cases and 11,265 cancer deaths.
The researchers found that all six measures of obesity were positively and similarly associated with a higher risk of 10 cancers. For example, each increase of 4.2 kg / m2 (men) and 5.1 kg / m2 (women) in BMI above 25 kg / m2 (defined as being overweight) was linked to a greater risk. high cancers of the stomach (35% increase), gallbladder. (33%), liver (27%), kidney (26%), pancreas (12%), bladder (9%), colorectal (10%), endometrium (73%), uterine (68%), postmenopausal breast ( 8%) and overall (3%) cancer.
Based on the results, the researchers estimate that if these associations were causal, being overweight or obese could be responsible for around 40% of endometrial and uterine cancers and 29% of gallbladder cancers. ; and could represent respectively 64%, 46% and 40% of deaths due to these cancers (see figure 8 in the link below).
“We observed a linear association – the more severe the obesity, the higher the risk of developing and dying from these cancers, except for postmenopausal breast cancer,” says Dr. Carlos Celis-Morales of the University of Glasgow, UK, who led the research. . “But there was a lot of variation in the effects of obesity on different cancers. This tells us that obesity must affect cancer risk through a different number of processes, depending on the type of cancer.”
This is an observational study, so cannot establish the cause, and the researchers say they cannot rule out the possibility that other unmeasured factors (residual confusion) may have influenced the results. They also note that the study is not a representative sample of the UK adult population, so the results may not be generalizable to the general population.
Warning: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of any press releases posted on EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information via the EurekAlert system.