Association between abdominal obesity and incident colorectal cancer: A nationwide cohort study in Korea

Ga Eun Nam, Se Jin Baek, Hong Bae Choi, Kyungdo Han, Jung Myun Kwak, Jin Kim, Seon Hahn Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: We investigated the association of waist circumference (WC) and abdominal obesity with the incident colorectal cancer risk in Korean adults. Methods: This nationwide populationbased cohort study was based on health insurance claims data. We analyzed data from 9,959,605 participants acquired through health checkups of the Korean National Health Insurance Service in 2009 who were followed up until the end of 2017. We performed multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression analysis. Results: During 8.3 years of follow up, 101,197 cases (1.0%) of colorectal cancer were recorded. After adjusting for potential confounders, there was a positive association between WC and colorectal cancer risk (p for trend <0.001). Abdominal obesity was associated with an increased risk of colorectal (hazard ratio: 1.10, (95% confidence interval: 1.08–1.12)), colon (1.11, 1.09–1.13), and rectal cancer (1.08, 1.05–1.10). These associations were independent of body mass index and were more pronounced in men and elderly individuals. Conclusion: We revealed that higher WC is related to colorectal cancer risk, thus suggesting that abdominal obesity may be a risk factor for colorectal cancer in this East Asian population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1368
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020 May 26

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Abdominal obesity
  • Body mass index
  • Colorectal neoplasm
  • Waist circumference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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