From the Journals

BMI changes in adolescence linked to later cancer risk



Adiposity changes during adolescence are more strongly associated with ovarian cancer risk than changes in adiposity during adulthood, according to data from the Nurses’ Health Study.

Among the 133,526 women followed prospectively in the observational study, investigators documented 562 incident ovarian cancers in the first cohort (1980-2012) and 226 in the second cohort (1989-2013) during 32 years of follow-up. Body mass index (BMI) changes that occurred between age 10 and 18 years was strongly positively associated with ovarian cancer risk (hazard Ratio, 1.24; 95% confidence interval, 1.11-1.39; P = .0002), compared with a slight association with risk for BMI change after age 18 years (HR, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.99-1.14; P = .10), Tianyi Huang, ScD, of Harvard Medical School, Boston, and his associates reported in Annals of Oncology.

The association between adolescent BMI changes and ovarian cancer risk was stronger for premenopausal cases (HR, 2.41; 95% CI, 1.38-4.19; P = .002), compared with postmenopausal cases (HR, 1.31; 95% CI, 0.90-1.92; P = .16), and suggestively stronger for nonserous tumors versus serous ovarian tumors.

For BMI change between age 10 and 18 years, the HR for every 5 kg/m2 increase was 1.35 (1.10, 1.65) for nonserous cancer and 1.08 (0.90, 1.28) for serous cancer (P = .10).

“This study provides additional evidence to support that maintaining a healthy weight throughout the life course may have moderate benefits on ovarian cancer prevention, particularly nonserous subtypes diagnosed during premenopausal years,” the authors wrote. “Further studies are needed to understand the specific mechanisms linking peripubertal adiposity and adult ovarian cancer risk.”

SOURCE: Huang T et al. Ann Oncol. 2018 Dec 21. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdy546.

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