Overweight, obesity and endometrial cancer risk: results from a systematic review and meta-analysis.Int J Biol Markers 2014; 29(1):e21-9IJ
Findings from recent studies suggest that obesity may be associated with an increased risk of endometrial cancer, but several earlier studies were less conclusive. Here we strive to estimate this relationship in a meta-analysis of published data.
We searched Pubmed and Embase for studies on body mass index and the risk of endometrial cancer, published from 1989 to 2011. Data were independently extracted and analyzed using random or fixed effects meta-analysis depending on the degree of heterogeneity.
Seven cohort studies and 11 case-control studies were included in the meta-analysis. Overall, the conditions of excess body weight ([EBW] defined as body mass index [BMI] ≥25 kg/m²), obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m²) and overweight (25< BMI <30 kg/m²) were associated with an increased risk of endometrial cancer (relative risk [RR] for EBW=1.62, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.39-1.89; for obesity RR=2.54, 95% CI, 2.11-3.06; for overweight RR=1.32, 95% CI, 1.16-1.50). Subgroup analyses showed that the positive associations were independent of study design, geographic locations, self-reported BMI, alcohol use, smoking habit, history of diabetes, hormone therapy, age at menarche, age at menopause, parity, and age at first full term pregnancy. However, there was no statistically significant association between EBW and endometrial cancer risk for measured BMI (for EBW RR=1.29, 95% CI, 0.66-2.53).
The findings from this meta-analysis strongly support that the conditions of EBW, overweight, and obesity are all associated with an increased risk of endometrial cancer. Also, the strength of the association increases with increasing BMI.