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Anthropometry and the risk of lung cancer in EPIC

  • Nikmah Utami Dewi
  • Hendriek C. Boshuizen
  • Mattias Johansson
  • Paolo Vineis
  • Ellen Kampman
  • Annika Steffen
  • Anne Tjønneland
  • Jytte Halkjær
  • Kim Overvad
  • Gianluca Severi
  • Guy Fagherazzi
  • Marie Christine Boutron-Ruault
  • Rudolf Kaaks
  • Kuanrong Li
  • Heiner Boeing
  • Antonia Trichopoulou
  • Christina Bamia
  • Eleni Klinaki
  • Rosario Tumino
  • Domenico Palli
  • Amalia Mattiello
  • Giovanna Tagliabue
  • Petra H. Peeters
  • Roel Vermeulen
  • Elisabete Weiderpass
  • Inger Torhild Gram
  • José María Huerta
  • Antonio Agudo
  • María José Sánchez
  • Eva Ardanaz
  • Miren Dorronsoro
  • José Ramón Quirós
  • Emily Sonestedt
  • Mikael Johansson
  • Kjell Grankvist
  • Tim Key
  • Kay Tee Khaw
  • Nick Wareham
  • Amanda J. Cross
  • Teresa Norat
  • Elio Riboli
  • Anouar Fanidi
  • David Muller
  • H. Bas Bueno-De-Mesquita
Publishing year: 2016-07-15
Language: English
Pages: 129-139
Publication/Series: American Journal of Epidemiology
Volume: 184
Issue: 2
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Abstract english

The associations of body mass index (BMI) and other anthropometric measurements with lung cancer were examined in 348,108 participants in the European Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) between 1992 and 2010. The study population included 2,400 case patients with incident lung cancer, and the average length of follow-up was 11 years. Hazard ratios were calculated using Cox proportional hazard models in which we modeled smoking variables with cubic splines. Overall, there was a significant inverse association between BMI (weight (kg)/height (m)2) and the risk of lung cancer after adjustment for smoking and other confounders (for BMI of 30.0-34.9 versus 18.5-25.0, hazard ratio = 0.72, 95% confidence interval: 0.62, 0.84). The strength of the association declined with increasing follow-up time. Conversely, after adjustment for BMI, waist circumference and waist-to-height ratio were significantly positively associated with lung cancer risk (for the highest category of waist circumference vs. the lowest, hazard ratio = 1.25, 95% confidence interval: 1.05, 1.50). Given the decline of the inverse association between BMI and lung cancer over time, the association is likely at least partly due to weight loss resulting from preclinical lung cancer that was present at baseline. Residual confounding by smoking could also have influenced our findings.


  • Cancer and Oncology
  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
  • body mass index
  • lung cancer
  • obesity
  • smoking
  • waist circumference
  • waist to hip ratio
  • waist-to-height ratio


  • Diabetes - Cardiovascular Disease
  • ISSN: 0002-9262
Emily Sonestedt
E-mail: emily [dot] sonestedt [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Associate senior lecturer

Nutrition Epidemiology

+46 40 39 13 25

+46 73 700 71 45


Jan Waldenströms gata 35, CRC 60:13, Malmö


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