QIMR Berghofer

Effect of increased body mass index on risk of diagnosis or death from cancer.


BACKGROUND: Whether body mass index (BMI) is causally associated with the risk of being diagnosed with or dying from any cancer remains unclear. Weight reduction has clinical importance for cancer control only if weight gain causes cancer development or death. We aimed to answer the question 'does genetically predicted BMI influence my risk of being diagnosed with or dying from any cancer'. METHODS: We used a Mendelian randomisation (MR) approach to estimate causal effect of BMI in 46,155 white-British participants aged between 40 and 69 years at recruitment (median age at follow-up 61 years) from the UK Biobank, who developed any type of cancer, among whom 6998 died from cancer. To derive MR instruments for BMI, we selected up to 390,628 cancer-free participants. RESULTS: For each standard deviation (4.78 units) increase in genetically predicted BMI, we estimated a causal odds ratio (COR) of 1.07 (1.02-1.12) and 1.28 (1.16-1.41) for overall cancer risk and mortality, respectively. The corresponding estimates were similar for males and females, and smokers and non-smokers. CONCLUSIONS: Higher genetically predicted BMI increases the risk of being diagnosed with or dying from any cancer. These data suggest that increased overall weight may causally increase overall cancer incidence and mortality among Europeans.

Authors Gharahkhani, Puya; Ong, Jue-Sheng; An, Jiyuan; Law, Matthew H; Whiteman, David C; Neale, Rachel E; MacGregor, Stuart
Pages 565-570
Volume 120
Date 1/02/2019
Grant ID 1123248
Funding Body Department of Health | National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
URL http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=10.1038/s41416-019-0386-9