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Cancer Epidemiol. 2019 Jun;60:208-215. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2019.04.008. Epub 2019 May 7.

Body mass index and the risk of head and neck cancer in the Chinese population.

Author information

1
Division of Public Health, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine and Huntsman Cancer Institute, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.
2
Department of Preventive Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.
3
Genomics Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan; Graduate Institute of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.
4
Genomics Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.
5
Department of Otolaryngology, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.
6
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, West China School of Public Health, Sichuan University, Sichuan, China.
7
Department of Oral Surgery, West China Hospital of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Sichuan, China.
8
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Jiangsu key lab of Cancer Biomarkers, Prevention and Treatment, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Personalized Medicine, School of Public Health, Nanjing Medical University, China.
9
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Fujian Medical University, Fujian, China.
10
Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai, China; Department of Oncology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
11
Department of Oncology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, China; Department of Pathology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai, China.
12
Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, China Medical University, Liaoning, China.
13
Department of Head & Neck Oncology, Henan Cancer Hospital, Henan, China.
14
Division of Public Health, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine and Huntsman Cancer Institute, Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya, Japan.
15
Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City, NY, USA.
16
Department of Epidemiology and Center for Environmental Genomics, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
17
National Office of Cancer Prevention & Control Cancer Institute & Hospital, and Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.
18
Division of Public Health, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine and Huntsman Cancer Institute, Salt Lake City, UT, USA. Electronic address: mia.hashibe@utah.edu.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate potential associations between body mass index (BMI) and head and neck cancer (HNC) risk in an East Asian population.

METHODS:

We conducted a hospital-based multicenter case-control study in East Asia including 921 cases and 806 controls. We estimated the odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for HNC risks by using logistic regression, adjusting on potential confounders.

RESULTS:

Compared to normal BMI at interview (18.5-<25 kg/m2), being underweight (BMI < 18.5 kg/m2) was associated with a higher HNC risk (OR = 2.71, 95% CI  1.40-5.26). Additionally, obesity (BMI > 30 kg/m2) was associated with a lower HNC risk (OR = 0.30, 95% CI  0.16-0.57). Being underweight at age 20 was also associated with an increased risk of HNC. However, being underweight at 5 years or 2 years before interview was not associated with a higher risk of HNC.

CONCLUSION:

We observed an inverse association between BMI and HNC risk, which is consistent with previous studies in other geographic regions. Being underweight at age 20 was also associated with a higher risk of HNC, suggesting that reverse causality was not the main source of the association.

KEYWORDS:

BMI; East Asia; Head and neck cancer risk

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