Serum lipid profiles and cancer risk in the context of obesity: four meta-analyses

J Cancer Epidemiol. 2013;2013:823849. doi: 10.1155/2013/823849. Epub 2013 Jan 20.


The objective here was to summarize the evidence for, and quantify the link between, serum markers of lipid metabolism and risk of obesity-related cancers. PubMed and Embase were searched using predefined inclusion criteria to conduct meta-analyses on the association between serum levels of TG, TC, HDL, ApoA-I, and risk of 11 obesity-related cancers. Pooled relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals were estimated using random-effects analyses. 28 studies were included. Associations between abnormal lipid components and risk of obesity-related cancers when using clinical cutpoints (TC ≥ 6.50; TG ≥ 1.71; HDL ≤ 1.03; ApoA-I ≤ 1.05 mmol/L) were apparent in all models. RRs were 1.18 (95% CI: 1.08-1.29) for TC, 1.20 (1.07-1.35) for TG, 1.15 (1.01-1.32) for HDL, and 1.42 (1.17-1.74) for ApoA-I. High levels of TC and TG, as well as low levels of HDL and ApoA-I, were consistently associated with increased risk of obesity-related cancers. The modest RRs suggest serum lipids to be associated with the risk of cancer, but indicate it is likely that other markers of the metabolism and/or lifestyle factors may also be involved. Future intervention studies involving lifestyle modification would provide insight into the potential biological role of lipid metabolism in tumorigenesis.