It has long been known that the risks of some cancers, including endometrial, are associated with obesity. Recent evidence suggests that body fat distribution patterns also affect the risk of developing some diseases. A question that remains is whether cancers are associated with specific distributions of body fat. In this study, women with endometrial cancer were compared to community controls of similar age and race. Participants were interviewed and then measured to determine fat distribution patterns defined by the waist-to-hip circumference ratio. Women with upper body fat distribution had a 3.2-fold (95% confidence limits 1.2, 8.9) higher risk of endometrial cancer than women with lower body fat distribution even with correction for age, parity, and smoking. Obese women with an upper body fat pattern had a 5.8-fold (confidence limits 1.7, 19.9) higher risk of endometrial cancer than nonobese/lower body fat patterned women. Obese women who never smoked had a 3.3-fold statistically significant higher risk of endometrial cancer than nonobese women who never smoked. Current smokers had lower risks than their nonsmoking counterparts. The 3-fold increased risk of endometrial cancer associated with upper body fat did not disappear with adjustment for obesity and smoking.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology