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Cancer Res. 2012 Jun 15;72(12):3029-37. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-11-2771. Epub 2012 Apr 17.

Adipokines linking obesity with colorectal cancer risk in postmenopausal women.

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1
Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461, USA. gloria.ho@einstein.yu.edu

Abstract

Mechanistic associations between obesity and colorectal cancer remain unclear. In this study, we investigated whether adipokines are risk factors for colorectal cancer and whether they may mediate its association with obesity. In a case-cohort study nested within the Women's Health Initiative cohort of postmenopausal women, baseline plasma samples from 457 colorectal cancer cases and 841 subcohort subjects were assayed for seven adipokines-adiponectin, leptin, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), resistin, hepatocyte growth factor, interleukin-6 (IL-6), and TNF-α. Serum insulin and estradiol values measured previously were also available for data analysis. After adjusting for age, race, smoking, colonoscopy history, and estrogen level, a low level of anti-inflammatory adiponectin and high levels of proinflammatory leptin, PAI-1, and IL-6 were associated with increased colorectal cancer risk, though only leptin remained significant after further adjustment for insulin [HRs comparing extreme quartiles (HR(Q4-Q1)), 1.84; 95% CI, 1.17-2.90]. Mediation analyses showed that leptin and insulin partially explained the association between waist circumference and colorectal cancer and attenuated it by 25% and 37%, respectively, with insulin being a significant mediator (P = 0.041). Our findings support the conclusion that adipokines involved in inflammation are associated with colorectal cancer risk, but that their effects may be mediated mostly by insulin, with leptin exerting an independent effect. Hyperinsulinemia and hyperleptinemia may therefore partially explain the adiposity association with colorectal cancer in postmenopausal women.

PMID:
22511581
PMCID:
PMC3790260
DOI:
10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-11-2771
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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