Obesity is a risk factor for the development of colon cancer. However, the influence of body mass index (BMI) on the outcome of patients with established colon cancer remains uncertain. Moreover, the impact of change in body habitus after diagnosis has not been studied.
Patients and Methods
We conducted a prospective, observational study of 1,053 patients who had stage III colon cancer and who were enrolled on a randomized trial of adjuvant chemotherapy. Patients reported on height and weight during and 6 months after adjuvant chemotherapy. Patients were observed for cancer recurrence or death.
In this cohort of patients with stage III cancer, 35% of patients were overweight (BMI, 25 to 29.9 kg/m2), and 34% were obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2). Increased BMI was not significantly associated with a higher risk of colon cancer recurrence or death (P trend = .54). Compared with normal-weight patients (BMI, 21 to 24.9 kg/m2), the multivariate hazard ratio for disease-free survival was 1.00 (95% CI, 0.72 to 1.40) for patients with class I obesity (BMI, 30 to 34.9 kg/m2) and 1.24 (95% CI, 0.84 to 1.83) for those with class II to III obesity (BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2) after analysis was adjusted for tumor-related prognostic factors, physical activity, tobacco history, performance status, age, and sex. Similarly, after analysis was controlled for BMI, weight change (either loss or gain) during the time period between ongoing adjuvant therapy and 6 months after completion of therapy did not significantly impact on cancer recurrence and/or mortality.
Neither BMI nor weight change was significantly associated with an increased risk of cancer recurrence and death in patients with colon cancer.