Predicted basal metabolic rate and cancer risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition

Nathalie Kliemann, Neil Murphy, Vivian Viallon, Heinz Freisling, Konstantinos K Tsilidis, Sabina Rinaldi, Francesca R Mancini, Guy Fagherazzi, Marie-Christine Boutron-Ruault, Heiner Boeing, Matthias B Schulze, Giovanna Masala, Vittorio Krogh, Carlotta Sacerdote, Maria S de Magistris, Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita, Elisabete Weiderpass, Tilman Kühn, Rudolf Kaaks, Paula JakszynDaniel Redondo-Sánchez, Pilar Amiano, Maria-Dolores Chirlaque, Aurelio B Gurrea, Ulrica Ericson, Isabel Drake, Therese H Nøst, Dagfinn Aune, Anne M May, Anne Tjønneland, Christina C Dahm, Kim Overvad, Rosario Tumino, Jose R Quirós, Antonia Trichopoulou, Anna Karakatsani, Carlo La Vecchia, Lena M Nilsson, Elio Riboli, Inge Huybrechts, Marc J Gunter

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Emerging evidence suggests that a metabolic profile associated with obesity may be a more relevant risk factor for some cancers than adiposity per se. Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is an indicator of overall body metabolism and may be a proxy for the impact of a specific metabolic profile on cancer risk. Therefore, we investigated the association of predicted BMR with incidence of 13 obesity-related cancers in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). BMR at baseline was calculated using the WHO/FAO/UNU equations and the relationships between BMR and cancer risk were investigated using multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models. A total of 141,295 men and 317,613 women, with a mean follow-up of 14 years were included in the analysis. Overall, higher BMR was associated with a greater risk for most cancers that have been linked with obesity. However, among normal weight participants, higher BMR was associated with elevated risks of esophageal adenocarcinoma (hazard ratio per 1-standard deviation change in BMR [HR1-SD ]: 2.46; 95% CI 1.20; 5.03) and distal colon cancer (HR1-SD : 1.33; 95% CI 1.001; 1.77) among men and with proximal colon (HR1-SD : 1.16; 95% CI 1.01; 1.35), pancreatic (HR1-SD : 1.37; 95% CI 1.13; 1.66), thyroid (HR1-SD : 1.65; 95% CI 1.33; 2.05), postmenopausal breast (HR1-SD : 1.17; 95% CI 1.11; 1.22) and endometrial (HR1-SD : 1.20; 95% CI 1.03; 1.40) cancers in women. These results indicate that higher BMR may be an indicator of a metabolic phenotype associated with risk of certain cancer types, and may be a useful predictor of cancer risk independent of body fatness.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Early online date25 Oct 2019
Publication statusEarly online date - 25 Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

© 2019 International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC/WHO); licensed by UICC.


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