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J Cancer Epidemiol. 2013;2013:823849. doi: 10.1155/2013/823849. Epub 2013 Jan 20.

Serum lipid profiles and cancer risk in the context of obesity: four meta-analyses.

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Cancer Epidemiology Group, Division of Cancer Studies, King's College London, School of Medicine, 3rd Floor, Bermondsey Wing, Guy's Hospital, London SE1 9RT, UK ; Regional Cancer Centre, Uppsala University Hospital, 751 85 Uppsala, Sweden.


The objective here was to summarize the evidence for, and quantify the link between, serum markers of lipid metabolism and risk of obesity-related cancers. PubMed and Embase were searched using predefined inclusion criteria to conduct meta-analyses on the association between serum levels of TG, TC, HDL, ApoA-I, and risk of 11 obesity-related cancers. Pooled relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals were estimated using random-effects analyses. 28 studies were included. Associations between abnormal lipid components and risk of obesity-related cancers when using clinical cutpoints (TC ≥ 6.50; TG ≥ 1.71; HDL ≤ 1.03; ApoA-I ≤ 1.05 mmol/L) were apparent in all models. RRs were 1.18 (95% CI: 1.08-1.29) for TC, 1.20 (1.07-1.35) for TG, 1.15 (1.01-1.32) for HDL, and 1.42 (1.17-1.74) for ApoA-I. High levels of TC and TG, as well as low levels of HDL and ApoA-I, were consistently associated with increased risk of obesity-related cancers. The modest RRs suggest serum lipids to be associated with the risk of cancer, but indicate it is likely that other markers of the metabolism and/or lifestyle factors may also be involved. Future intervention studies involving lifestyle modification would provide insight into the potential biological role of lipid metabolism in tumorigenesis.

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