Height, weight, and alcohol consumption in relation to the risk of colorectal cancer in Japan: a prospective study

Br J Cancer. 2003 Apr 7;88(7):1038-43. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6600845.


Colorectal cancer incidence in relation to body size, smoking, and alcohol consumption was studied in a cohort of 29 051 city residents of Japan. In 1992, each participant completed a self-administered questionnaire on sociodemographic characteristics, drinking, cigarette smoking, diet, exercise, and reproductive and medical histories. The response rate was 92%. From 1993 to 2000, 161 men and 134 women were diagnosed with colorectal cancer at two major hospitals in the city. Relative risks and 95% confidence intervals were calculated by using Cox proportional hazard models. A positive relation between height and colorectal cancer was seen in both sexes, controlling for age, body mass index (BMI), smoking and drinking habits, and years of education. The findings were statistically significant only for men (relative risk 2.13 for the tallest compared with the shortest height tertile; 95% confidence interval=1.26-3.58). Body mass index was also associated positively with colon cancer risk for men, whereas the pattern for women was not clear. There was a positive association between pack-years of cigarette smoking and the risk of rectal cancer in men. A positive dose-response relation between alcohol consumption and colon cancer risk was observed for men and women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Body Height*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Smoking / adverse effects