Skip to Content

As a result of the current Federal government funding situation, the information on this website may not be up to date or acted upon.

The NIH Clinical Center (the research hospital of NIH) is open. For more details about its operating status, please visit https://cc.nih.gov.

Updates regarding government operating status and resumption of normal operations can be found at https://www.opm.gov.

Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Publications Search - Abstract View

Title: Body mass index and colon cancer risk in Chinese people: menopause as an effect modifier.
Authors: Hou L,  Ji BT,  Blair A,  Dai Q,  Gao YT,  Potter JD,  Chow WH
Journal: Eur J Cancer
Date: 2006 Jan
Branches: OEEB
PubMed ID: 16321519
PMC ID: PMC1513640
Abstract: High body mass index (BMI) has consistently been associated with increased colon cancer risk in men, but not in women. It is hypothesised that menopause-related changes in oestrogen levels play a role in gender-specific risk patterns. Most studies have been conducted in Western countries, where high incidence rates are coupled with a high prevalence of obesity and relatively common use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in post-menopausal women. This study evaluated the correlation between body mass index (BMI) and colon cancer risk in a relatively lean population, comprising 931 cases and 1552 controls, in Shanghai, China, where HRT use was extremely rare among women, during 1990-1993. Among men, colon cancer risk significantly increased with increasing BMI (P-trend=0.005). Among women, the risk varied with age and menopause status in a similar pattern. Within each menopause stratum, however, the BMI-related risk was similar for those aged under 55 years and those aged 55 years and over, indicating a menopause rather than age effect. Among pre-menopausal women, the odds ratios (ORs) for subjects in the highest versus lowest quintile were 1.9 (95% CI 1.1-4.9) for those under 55 years of age, and 2.2 (95% CI 1.4-8.2) for those aged 55 years and over. Among post-menopausal women, the corresponding ORs were 0.6 (95% CI 0.5-0.91) and 0.7 (95% CI 0.5-0.95), respectively. Our findings suggest that BMI predicts colon cancer risk in both genders. Among women, however, the risk is modified by menopause status, possibly through altered endogenous oestrogen levels.