Comparison of self-reported height and weight by cancer type among men from Montreal, Canada

Eur J Cancer Prev. 2005 Oct;14(5):431-8. doi: 10.1097/01.cej.0000178074.42995.47.


Among men there is epidemiological evidence for an association between obesity and increased risk of renal cell carcinoma, colon cancer and adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus. The evidence for other cancer sites remains inconsistent. We conducted a large population-based, multi-site, case-control study of environmental causes of cancer among males in Montreal, Canada. Among the many questionnaire items collected by interview were height and usual weight. We compared height, weight and body mass index (BMI) among individuals with 11 different cancer types (combined N=3016) and population-based controls (N=509). Linear regression was used to model the relationship of the disease status with each of three dependent continuous variables (height, weight and BMI), while adjusting for covariates. For most cancer groups, weight and BMI were lower than among population controls. Because of potential information bias and reverse causality bias, we focused on the comparisons among cancer types. The lowest BMI values were observed among men with squamous cell carcinoma of the oesophagus, lung and stomach cancers. The highest BMIs were reported by men with prostate and kidney cancers, and oesophageal adenocarcinoma. Inconsistencies in the epidemiological literature on obesity and cancer risk could be related to the difficulties in obtaining unbiased reports of pre-disease weight and to publication bias.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Height*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / classification
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Quebec / epidemiology
  • Smoking / epidemiology