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World J Gastroenterol. 2012 Aug 21;18(31):4191-8. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i31.4191.

Role of body mass index in colon cancer patients in Taiwan.

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  • 1Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, Department of Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chiayi 613, Taiwan.



To determine the effect of body mass index (BMI) on the characteristics and overall outcome of colon cancer in Taiwan.


From January 1995 to July 2003, 2138 patients with colon cancer were enrolled in this study. BMI categories (in kg/m²) were established according to the classification of the Department of Health of Taiwan. Postoperative morbidities and mortality, and survival analysis including overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS), and cancer-specific survival (CSS) were compared across the BMI categories.


There were 164 (7.7%) underweight (BMI < 18.5 kg/m²), 1109 (51.9%) normal-weight (BMI = 18.5-23.9 kg/m²), 550 (25.7%) overweight (BMI = 24.0-26.9 kg/m²), and 315 (14.7%) obese (BMI ≥ 27 kg/m²) patients. Being female, apparently anemic, hypoalbuminemic, and having body weight loss was more likely among underweight patients than among the other patients (P < 0.001). Underweight patients had higher mortality rate (P = 0.007) and lower OS (P < 0.001) and DFS (P = 0.002) than the other patients. OS and DFS did not differ significantly between normal-weight, overweight, and obese patients, while CSS did not differ significantly with the BMI category.


In Taiwan, BMI does not significantly affect colon-CSS. Underweight patients had a higher rate of surgical mortality and a worse OS and DFS than the other patients. Obesity does not predict a worse survival.


Body mass index; Colon cancer; Morbidity; Outcome; Survival

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