Adiposity Related Cancer Risk May Vary On Fat Locations Interview with:
Arjun Gupta, MD and

Ian J. Neeland MD, Assistant Professor
Dedman Family Scholar in Clinical Care
Division of Cardiology
UT Southwestern Medical Center What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Adiposity is traditionally measured using the body mass index, which refers to a persons weight in kilograms divided by their height (in meters) squared. Persons with higher body mas index have been shown to have increased risk of certain cancers, however body mass index by itself is not a completely representative measure of body fat risk, because distinct fat depots such as visceral adipose tissue, abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue, liver fat and lower body fat have differing metabolic impact.

We aimed to study the relationship between specific fat depots and the risk of incident cancer among relatively young, multiethnic participants in the Dallas Heart Study. Individuals without prevalent cancer underwent quantification of adipose depots using MRI and DEXA scans from 2000-2002, and were followed for the development of cancer for up to 12 years. In multivariable models adjusted for age, sex, race, smoking, alcohol use, family history of malignancy and body mass index, visceral adipose tissue, subcutaneous adipose tissue or liver fat were not associated with risk of cancer but each 1-standard deviation increase in lower body fat was associated with a 31% reduced incidence of cancer. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Adiposity-associated cancer risk may be heterogeneous and varies by fat depot. Higher levels of lower body fat have been associated with a reduced incidence of diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease, but the demonstration of this protective effect on cancer incidence is novel. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Further studies of the adiposity-cancer relationship, including serial assessments, are needed to better elucidate this relationship.

No disclosures Thank you for your contribution to the community.


An Analysis of Individual Body Fat Depots and Risk of Developing Cancer
Gupta, Arjun et al.
Mayo Clinic Proceedings , Volume 0 , Issue 0 ,


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Last Updated on March 13, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD