Metabolic risk profile and cancer in Korean men and women

Seulki Ko, Seok Jun Yoon, Dongwoo Kim, A. Rim Kim, Eun Jung Kim, Hye Young Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors for type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. Associations between metabolic syndrome and several types of cancer have recently been documented. Methods: We analyzed the sample cohort data from the Korean National Health Insurance Service from 2002, with a follow-up period extending to 2013. The cohort data included 99 565 individuals who participated in the health examination program and whose data were therefore present in the cohort database. The metabolic risk profile of each participant was assessed based on obesity, high serum glucose and total cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure. The occurrence of cancer was identified using Korean National Health Insurance claims data. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models, adjusting for age group, smoking status, alcohol intake, and regular exercise. Results: A total of 5937 cases of cancer occurred during a mean follow-up period of 10.4 years. In men with a high-risk metabolic profile, the risk of colon cancer was elevated (HR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.14 to 1.71). In women, a high-risk metabolic profile was associated with a significantly increased risk of gallbladder and biliary tract cancer (HR, 2.05; 95% CI, 1.24 to 3.42). Non-significantly increased risks were observed in men for pharynx, larynx, rectum, and kidney cancer, and in women for colon, liver, breast, and ovarian cancer. Conclusions: The findings of this study support the previously suggested association between metabolic syndrome and the risk of several cancers. A high-risk metabolic profile may be an important risk factor for colon cancer in Korean men and gallbladder and biliary tract cancer in Korean women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-152
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the National R&D Program for Cancer Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Korea (grant no. 1320310).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2016 The Korean Society for Preventive Medicine.


  • Cohort studies
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Neoplasms
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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