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Neurology. 2015 Oct 13;85(15):1342-50. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000002020. Epub 2015 Sep 16.

Body mass index, physical activity, and risk of adult meningioma and glioma: A meta-analysis.

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From the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Regensburg, Germany.
From the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Regensburg, Germany.



Whether adiposity and lack of physical activity affect the risk for developing meningioma and glioma is poorly understood. Our objective was to characterize these associations in detail.


We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of adiposity and physical activity in relation to meningioma and glioma using cohort and case-control studies published through February 2015. We followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines.


We identified 12 eligible studies of body mass index (BMI) and 6 studies of physical activity, comprising up to 2,982 meningioma cases and 3,057 glioma cases. Using normal weight as the reference group, overweight (summary relative risk [RR] = 1.21, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.01-1.43) and obesity (RR = 1.54, 95% CI = 1.32-1.79) were associated with increased risk of meningioma. In contrast, overweight (RR = 1.06, 95% CI = 0.94-1.20) and obesity (RR = 1.11, 95% CI = 0.98-1.27) were unrelated to glioma. Similarly, dose-response meta-analyses revealed a statistically significant positive association of BMI with meningioma, but not glioma. High vs low physical activity levels showed a modest inverse relation to meningioma (RR = 0.73, 95% CI = 0.61-0.88) and a weak inverse association with glioma (RR = 0.86, 95% CI = 0.76-0.97). Relations persisted when the data were restricted to prospective studies, except for the association between physical activity and glioma, which was rendered statistically nonsignificant (RR = 0.91, 95% CI = 0.77-1.07).


Adiposity is related to enhanced risk for meningioma but is unassociated with risk for glioma. Based on a limited body of evidence, physical activity is related to decreased risk of meningioma but shows little association with risk of glioma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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