Association of obesity, serum glucose and lipids with the risk of advanced colorectal adenoma and cancer: a case-control study in Korea

Dig Liver Dis. 2006 Sep;38(9):668-72. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2006.05.014. Epub 2006 Jun 21.


Background: Previous studies on colorectal cancer risk suggest that obesity, serum lipids and glucose might be related to colorectal carcinogenesis. This case-control study was conducted to investigate the association between obesity, serum lipids and glucose, and the risk of advanced colorectal adenoma and cancer.

Methods: Patients with histologically confirmed colorectal cancers (n=105), same number of patients with advanced colorectal adenomas matched by age and sex, and the same number of controls matched by age and sex were selected in Hanyang University Guri Hospital between January 2002 and June 2004.

Results: Adenoma and cancer group showed significantly higher levels of mean body mass index and serum glucose. Cancer group also showed significantly lower mean serum lipids levels than controls. We used an unordered polytomous logistic model to calculate multivariate odds ratios for advanced adenoma and cancer relative to controls. Higher serum glucose level was more strongly associated with increased risk of cancer relative to controls (odds ratio, 3.0; 95% confidence interval, 0.9-9.8) than with increased risk of advanced adenoma (odds ratio, 2.1; 95% confidence interval, 0.9-5.4). Higher body mass index was strongly associated with increased risk of advanced adenoma (odds ratio, 10.8; 95% confidence interval, 4.6-25.3), but associated with attenuated risk of cancer (odds ratio, 2.3; 95% confidence interval, 0.9-5.8). Serum triglycerides and cholesterol levels were strongly associated with reduced risk of cancer (odds ratio, 0.3; 95% confidence interval, 0.1-0.8 and odds ratio, 0.2; 95% confidence interval, 0.1-0.6, respectively).

Conclusions: Obesity and hyperglycaemia are positively related to advanced colorectal adenoma formation. Furthermore, hyperglycaemia plays an important role in progression to cancer. Findings on an inverse relationship between serum triglyceride and cholesterol levels and the risk of colorectal cancer may be the secondary results from metabolic or nutritional changes in advanced colorectal cancer patients and should be clarified in further studies.

MeSH terms

  • Adenomatous Polyps / blood*
  • Adenomatous Polyps / complications*
  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / blood*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / blood
  • Korea
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Risk Factors


  • Blood Glucose
  • Lipids