Obesity and endometrial cancer survival: a systematic review

Int J Obes (Lond). 2013 May;37(5):634-9. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2012.94. Epub 2012 Jun 19.


Although it is known that obesity increases the risk of endometrial cancer and is linked to higher mortality rates in the general population, the association between obesity and mortality among endometrial cancer survivors is unclear. We performed a medline search using exploded Mesh keywords 'endometrial neoplasms/' and ('body mass index/' or 'obesity/') and ('survival analysis/' or 'mortality/' or (survivor* or survival*).mp.). We also inspected bibliographies of relevant papers to identify related publications. Our search criteria yielded 74 studies, 12 of which met inclusion criteria. Four of the included studies reported a statistically or marginally significant association between obesity and higher all cause mortality among endometrial cancer survivors after multivariate adjustment. The suggestive association between body mass index and higher all cause mortality among women with endometrial cancer was comparable to the magnitude of association reported in prospective studies of healthy women. Of the five studies that examined progression-free survival and the two studies reporting on disease-specific mortality, none reported an association with obesity. Future studies are needed to understand disease-specific mortality, the importance of obesity-onset timing and whether mechanisms of obesity-related mortality in this population of women differ from those of the general population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Body Mass Index
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / etiology
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / mortality*
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Survival Analysis
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Women's Health*