Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified common variants that predispose individuals to a higher body mass index (BMI), an independent risk factor for endometrial cancer. Composite genotype risk scores (GRS) based on the joint effect of published BMI risk loci were used to explore whether endometrial cancer shares a genetic background with obesity. Genotype and risk factor data were available on 3,376 endometrial cancer case and 3,867 control participants of European ancestry from the Epidemiology of Endometrial Cancer Consortium GWAS. A BMI GRS was calculated by summing the number of BMI risk alleles at 97 independent loci. For exploratory analyses, additional GRSs were based on subsets of risk loci within putative etiologic BMI pathways. The BMI GRS was statistically significantly associated with endometrial cancer risk (P = 0.002). For every 10 BMI risk alleles a woman had a 13% increased endometrial cancer risk (95% CI: 4%, 22%). However, after adjusting for BMI, the BMI GRS was no longer associated with risk (per 10 BMI risk alleles OR = 0.99, 95% CI: 0.91, 1.07; P = 0.78). Heterogeneity by BMI did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.06), and no effect modification was noted by age, GWAS Stage, study design or between studies (P≥0.58). In exploratory analyses, the GRS defined by variants at loci containing monogenic obesity syndrome genes was associated with reduced endometrial cancer risk independent of BMI (per BMI risk allele OR = 0.92, 95% CI: 0.88, 0.96; P = 2.1 x 10-5). Possessing a large number of BMI risk alleles does not increase endometrial cancer risk above that conferred by excess body weight among women of European descent. Thus, the GRS based on all current established BMI loci does not provide added value independent of BMI. Future studies are required to validate the unexpected observed relation between monogenic obesity syndrome genetic variants and endometrial cancer risk.
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