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Environ Res. 2015 Oct;142:594-601. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2015.07.021.

Obesity and excess weight in early adulthood and high risks of arsenic-related cancer in later life.

Author information

1
Arsenic Health Effects Research Program, School of Public Health, University of California, 50 University Hall, MC7360, Berkeley, CA 94720-7360, USA; Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, California Environmental Protection Agency, Oakland, USA. Electronic address: craigs@berkeley.edu.
2
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York City, USA.
3
Departamento de Salud Pública, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.
4
Arsenic Health Effects Research Program, School of Public Health, University of California, 50 University Hall, MC7360, Berkeley, CA 94720-7360, USA.
5
Hospital Regional de Calama, Calama, Chile.
6
Hospital Regional de Iquique, Iquique, Chile.
7
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, London, United Kingdom; Instituto de Nutrición y Technología de los Alimentos, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile.
8
Environmental Health Sciences Division, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Elevated body mass index (BMI) is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and other diseases. Inflammation or oxidative stress induced by high BMI may explain some of these effects. Millions of people drink arsenic-contaminated water worldwide, and ingested arsenic has also been associated with inflammation, oxidative stress, and cancer.

OBJECTIVES:

To assess the unique situation of people living in northern Chile exposed to high arsenic concentrations in drinking water and investigate interactions between arsenic and BMI, and associations with lung and bladder cancer risks.

METHODS:

Information on self-reported body mass index (BMI) at various life stages, smoking, diet, and lifetime arsenic exposure was collected from 532 cancer cases and 634 population-based controls.

RESULTS:

In subjects with BMIs <90th percentile in early adulthood (27.7 and 28.6 kg/m(2) in males and females, respectively), odds ratios (OR) for lung and bladder cancer combined for arsenic concentrations of <100, 100-800 and >800 µg/L were 1.00, 1.64 (95% CI, 1.19-2.27), and 3.12 (2.30-4.22). In subjects with BMIs ≥90th percentile in early adulthood, the corresponding ORs were higher: 1.00, 1.84 (0.75-4.52), and 9.37 (2.88-30.53), respectively (synergy index=4.05, 95% CI, 1.27-12.88). Arsenic-related cancer ORs >20 were seen in those with elevated BMIs in both early adulthood and in later life. Adjustments for smoking, diet, and other factors had little impact.

CONCLUSION:

These findings provide novel preliminary evidence supporting the notion that environmentally-related cancer risks may be markedly increased in people with elevated BMIs, especially in those with an elevated BMI in early-life.

KEYWORDS:

Arsenic; BMI; Bladder cancer; Cancer; Chile; Drinking water; Inflammation; Lung cancer; Obesity

PMID:
26301739
PMCID:
PMC4664040
DOI:
10.1016/j.envres.2015.07.021
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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