Body-mass index and cancer risk

Excess bodyweight, expressed as increased body-mass index {BMI), is associated with the risk of some common adult cancers. Renehan and his colleagues report in the Lancet February 16 2008 a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the strength of associations between BMI and different sites of cancer and also to look at differences in these associations between sex and ethnic groups.
They did electronic searches to identify prospective studies of incident cases of 20 cancer type and also to study- the risk of cancer associated with a 5 kg/m1 increase in BMI.
141 articles), including 282137 incident cases were recorded. . In men. a 5 kg/m2 increase in BMI was strongly associated with oesophageal adenocarcinoma (BR 1-52,),thyroid (1-33,), colon ( 1-24,), and renal {1-24,) cancers. In women, there was strong associations between a 5 kg/mi increase in BMI and endometrial (1-59,), gallbladder (1-59, ), oesophageal adenocarcinoma (1- 51,), and renal (1-34,) cancers.
Associations were stronger in men than in women for colon (p Associations were generally similar in studies from North America, Europe and Australia, and the Asia-Pacific region, but we recorded stronger associations in Asia-Pacific populations between increased BMI and premenopausal (p=0 – 009) and postmenopausal (p=006) breast cancers.
Increased BMI is associated with increased risk of common and less common malignancies. For some cancer types, associations differ between sexes and populations of different ethnic origins.
Renehan et al 2008 Body –mass index and incidence of cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective and observational studies. Lancet vol 371 pp 569-578.

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Martin Eastwood
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