A Prospective Study of Obesity and Cancer Risk (Sweden)

Cancer Causes Control. 2001 Jan;12(1):13-21. doi: 10.1023/a:1008995217664.

Abstract

Objective: [corrected] We evaluated the relation between obesity and the risks for various forms of cancer.

Methods: In a population-based cohort of 28,129 hospital patients (8165 men, 19,964 women) with any discharge diagnosis of obesity (9557 only diagnosis, 5266 primary, 13,306 secondary) during 1965-1993, cancer incidence was ascertained through 1993 by record linkage to the nationwide Swedish Cancer Registry. Cancer risk was estimated using the standardized incidence ratio (SIR, with 95% confidence interval), which is the ratio of the observed number of cancers to that expected.

Results: Overall, a 33% excess incidence of cancer was seen in obese persons, 25% in men and 37% in women. Significant risk elevations were observed for cancers of the small intestine (SIR = 2.8; 95% CI 1.6-4.5), colon (1.3; 1.1-1.5), gallbladder (1.6; 1.1-2.3), pancreas (1.5; 1.1-1.9), larynx (2.1; 1.1-3.5), renal parenchyma (2.3; 1.8-2.8), bladder (1.2; 1.0-1.6), cervix uteri (1.4; 1.1-1.9), endometrium (2.9; 2.5-3.4), ovary (1.2; 1.1-1.5), brain (1.5; 1.2-1.9), and connective tissue (1.9; 1.1-3.0), and for lymphomas (1.4; 1.0-1.7), with higher risk observed for Hodgkin's disease only in men (3.3; 1.4-6.5) and for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma only in women (1.6; 1.2-2.1). The association of obesity with risk of breast, prostate and pancreas cancers was modified by age.

Conclusions: Obesity is associated with more forms of cancer than previously reported.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Patient Discharge / statistics & numerical data
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prevalence
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sweden / epidemiology