Body size and risk of colon and rectal cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)

Tobias Pischon, Petra H. Lahmann, Heiner Boeing, Christine Friedenreich, Teresa Norat, Anne Tjønneland, Jytte Halkjaer, Kim Overvad, Françoise Clavel-Chapelon, Marie Christine Boutron-Ruault, Gregory Guernec, Manuela M. Bergmann, Jakob Linseisen, Nikolaus Becker, Antonia Trichopoulou, Dimitrios Trichopoulos, Sabina Sieri, Domenico Palli, Rosario Tumino, Paolo VineisSalvatore Panico, Petra H M Peeters, H. Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita, Hendriek C. Boshuizen, Bethany Van Guelpen, Richard Palmqvist, Göran Berglund, Carlos Alberto Gonzalez, Miren Dorronsoro, Aurelio Barricarte, Carmen Navarro, Carmen Martinez, J. Ramón Quirós, Andrew Roddam, Naomi Allen, Sheila Bingham, Kay Tee Khaw, Pietro Ferrari, Rudolf Kaaks, Nadia Slimani, Elio Riboli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Body weight and body mass index (BMI) are positively related to risk of colon cancer in men, whereas weak or no associations exist in women. This discrepancy may be related to differences in fat distribution between sexes or to the use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in women. Methods: We used multivariable adjusted Cox proportional hazards models to examine the association between anthropometric measures and risks of colon and rectal cancer among 368 277 men and women who were free of cancer at baseline from nine countries of the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition. All statistical tests were two-sided. Results: During 6.1 years of follow-up, we identified 984 and 586 patients with colon and rectal cancer, respectively. Body weight and BMI were statistically significantly associated with colon cancer risk in men (highest versus lowest quintile of BMI, relative risk [RR] = 1.55, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.12 to 2.15; P trend =.006) but not in women. In contrast, comparisons of the highest to the lowest quintile showed that several anthropometric measures, including waist circumference (men, RR = 1.39, 95% CI = 1.01 to 1.93; P trend = .001; women, RR = 1.48, 95% CI = 1.08 to 2.03; P trend = .008), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR; men, RR = 1.51, 95% CI = 1.06 to 2.15; P trend = .006; women, RR = 1.52, 95% CI = 1.12 to 2.05; P trend = .002), and height (men, RR = 1.40, 95% CI = 0.99 to 1.98; P trend = .04; women, RR = 1.79, 95% CI = 1.30 to 2.46; P trend

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)920-931
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 5 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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