Anthropometric measures, physical activity, and risk of glioma and meningioma in a large prospective cohort study

Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2011 Sep;4(9):1385-92. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-11-0014. Epub 2011 Jun 17.


Body fatness has been associated with increased risk of a number of hormone-dependent cancers. Recent studies suggest that body mass index (BMI) may be related to meningiomas, which are more common in women than men, and for which estrogens are believed to play a role. Using data from a large European propective cohort, 203 incident cases of meningioma and 340 cases of glioma were included in the analysis for measures of body fat, height, and physical activity among 380,775 participants. All analyses were conducted using Cox proportional hazards model and controlling for age, sex, country, and education. A 71% increase in risk of meningioma was observed among men and women in the top quartile of waist circumference (HR = 1.71, 95% CI = 1.08-2.73, P(trend) = 0.01). A positive association was also observed for BMI and meningioma (HR = 1.48, 95% CI = 0.98-2.23, for BMI ≥30 compared with a BMI of 20-24.9, P(trend) = 0.05). An association with height and meningioma was also suggestive (HR = 1.24, 95% 0.96-1.51, for each 10 cm increase). In contrast, no associations were observed for height and different measures of body fat and risk of glioma. Physical activity was not related to either type of brain tumors. Results from this study support an increase in risk of meningioma with higher body fatness among both men and women. No association was observed between anthropometric measures and risk of glioma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anthropometry / methods
  • Body Height
  • Body Mass Index
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Glioma / diagnosis*
  • Glioma / etiology
  • Glioma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meningioma / diagnosis*
  • Meningioma / etiology
  • Meningioma / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Proportional Hazards Models