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Body mass index and cancer: Results from the Northern Sweden Health and Disease Cohort
Article first published online: 27 JUL 2005
Copyright © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
International Journal of Cancer
Volume 118, Issue 2, pages 458–466, 15 January 2006
How to Cite
Lukanova, A., Björ, O., Kaaks, R., Lenner, P., Lindahl, B., Hallmans, G. and Stattin, P. (2006), Body mass index and cancer: Results from the Northern Sweden Health and Disease Cohort. Int. J. Cancer, 118: 458–466. doi: 10.1002/ijc.21354
Fax : +46-90-12-53-96.
- Issue published online: 9 NOV 2005
- Article first published online: 27 JUL 2005
- Manuscript Accepted: 20 MAY 2005
- Manuscript Received: 27 FEB 2005
- World Cancer Research Fund. Grant Number: 2002/30
- Swedish Cancer Society. Grant Number: 04-0417
- Västerbotten County Council
- body mass index;
- Northern Sweden Health and Disease Cohort;
- cancer risk
Excess weight has been associated with increased risk of cancer. The effect of body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) on overall cancer risk and on risk of developing several common cancer types was examined in a population-based cohort study. Height and weight measurements were available for 35,362 women and 33,424 men recruited in the Northern Sweden Health and Disease Cohort between 1985 and 2003. Among cohort members, 2,691 incident cancer cases were identified. The association of BMI with cancer risk was examined using Poisson regression. Women with BMI > 27.1 (top quartile) had a 29% higher risk of developing any malignancy compared to women with BMI of 18.5–22.2 (lowest quartile), which increased to 47% in analysis limited to nonsmokers. Analyses according to WHO cut-off points showed that obese women (BMI ≥ 30) had a 36% higher risk of cancer than women with BMI in the normal range (18.5–25). Individual cancer sites most strongly related to obesity were endometrium (risk for top quartile = 3.53, 95% confidence interval 1.86–7.43), ovary (2.09, 1.13–4.13) and colon (2.05, 1.04–4.41). BMI was inversely related to breast cancer occurring before age 49 (0.58, 0.29–1.11, ptrend < 0.04). In men, there was no association of BMI with overall cancer risk. Obese men (BMI ≥ 30), however, were at increased risk of developing kidney cancer (3.63, 1.23–10.7) and, after exclusion of cases diagnosed within 1 year of recruitment, colon cancer (1.77, 1.04–2.95). Our study provides further evidence that BMI is positively associated with cancer risk. In women from northern Sweden, up to 7% of all cancers were attributable to overweight and obesity and could be avoided by keeping BMI within the recommended range. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.