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J Clin Oncol. 2012 Jan 1;30(1):42-52. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2011.38.0287. Epub 2011 Nov 28.

Impact of body mass index on survival after colorectal cancer diagnosis: the Cancer Prevention Study-II Nutrition Cohort.

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Epidemiology Research Program, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA.



The impact of body mass index (BMI) on survival after colorectal cancer diagnosis is poorly understood. This study assessed the association of pre- and postdiagnosis BMI with all-cause and cause-specific survival among men and women diagnosed with colorectal cancer in a prospective cohort.


Participants in the Cancer Prevention Study-II Nutrition Cohort reported weight and other risk factor information via a self-administered questionnaire at baseline in 1992 to 1993. Updated information on current weight and incident cancer was reported via periodic follow-up questionnaires. This analysis includes 2,303 cohort participants who were diagnosed with nonmetastatic colorectal cancer between baseline and mid 2007 and were observed for mortality from diagnosis through December 2008.


A total of 851 participants with colorectal cancer died during the 16-year follow-up period, including 380 as a result of colorectal cancer and 153 as a result of cardiovascular disease (CVD). In analyses of prediagnosis BMI (weight reported at baseline in 1992 to 1993; mean, 7 years before colorectal cancer diagnosis), obese BMI (≥ 30 kg/m(2)) relative to normal BMI (18.5 to 24.9 kg/m(2)) was associated with higher risk of mortality resulting from all causes (relative risk [RR], 1.30; 95% CI, 1.06 to 1.58), colorectal cancer (RR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.80), and CVD (RR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.07 to 2.65). Postdiagnosis BMI (based on weight reported; mean, 1.5 years after diagnosis) was not associated with all-cause or cause-specific mortality.


This study suggests that prediagnosis BMI, but not postdiagnosis BMI, is an important predictor of survival among patients with nonmetastatic colorectal cancer.

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