This study was performed to investigate the association between body mass index (BMI) and gastric cancer in East and Southeast Asia where most of gastric cancer is non-cardia gastric cancer.
On the basis of 8,997 gastric cancer cases among the Asia Cohort Consortium participants from China, Japan, Korea, and Singapore (N = 538,835), we assessed gastric cancer risk according to BMI by calculating hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using the Cox proportional hazard regression model.
A U-shaped associations between BMI and gastric cancer risk were observed. Gastric cancer risks in underweight group (<18.5 kg/m2) and in obesity group (≥27.5 kg/m2) were higher than reference BMI group (23–24.9 kg/m2; HR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.05–1.25 for underweight; HR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.03–1.22 for obesity, respectively). The associations of underweight and obesity with gastric cancer risk were consistent in the analyses for non-cardia gastric cancer, intestinal-type gastric cancer, and late-onset gastric cancer. No significant association of underweight and obesity with the risk of cardia gastric cancer, diffuse-type gastric cancer, and early-onset gastric cancer was observed. In addition, we found that the U-shaped association between BMI and gastric cancer risk remained in nonsmokers, while only underweight was related to increased gastric cancer risk in smokers.
BMI has a U-shaped association with gastric cancer risk in East and Southeast Asian population, especially for the non-cardia gastric cancer, intestinal-type gastric cancer, and late-onset gastric cancer.
Future studies with consideration of anatomic location and histology of gastric cancer are needed to establish the association of underweight as well as obesity with gastric cancer risk.