The health burden of cancer attributable to obesity in Korea: A population-based cohort study

Joo Eun Lee, Chung Mo Nam, Sang Gyu Lee, Sohee Park, Tae Hyun Kim, Eun Cheol Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose Considering the health impact of obesity and cancer, it is important to estimate the burden of cancer attributable to high body mass index (BMI). Therefore, the present study attempts to measure the health burden of cancer attributable to excess BMI, according to cancer sites. Materials and Methods The present study used nationwide medical check-up sample cohort data (2002-2015). The study subjects were 496,390 individuals (268,944 men and 227,446 women). We first calculated hazard ratio (HR) in order to evaluate the effect of excess BMI on cancer incidence and mortality. Then, the adjusted HR values and the prevalence of excess BMI were used to calculate the population attributable risk. This study also used the Global Burden of Disease method, to examine the health burden of obesity-related cancers attributable to obesity. Results The highest disability-adjusted life year (DALY) values attributable to overweight and obesity in men were shown in liver cancer, colorectal cancer, and gallbladder cancer. Among women, colorectal, ovarian, and breast (postmenopausal) cancers had the highest DALYs values attributable to overweight and obesity. Approximately 8.0% and 12.5% of cancer health burden (as measured by DALY values) among obesity-related cancers in men and women, respectively, can be prevented. Conclusion Obesity has added to the health burden of cancer. By measuring the proportion of cancer burden attributable to excess BMI, the current findings provide support for the importance of properly allocating healthcare resources and for developing cancer prevention strategies to reduce the future burden of cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)933-940
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Research and Treatment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jul 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright 2019 by the Korean Cancer Association

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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