Body Size/Composition and Endometrial Cancer Risk in Postmenopausal Women

Sarfaroj Khan 

April 30, 2020


  • Endometrial cancer risk was positively associated with body mass index (BMI), weight, body fat percentage, and fat mass in postmenopausal women.

  • Central adiposity, as reflected by waist circumference and waist to hip ratio, may be associated with endometrial cancer risk independent of BMI.

Why this matters

  • Findings suggest that body fat percentage and fat mass may not be better indicators of endometrial cancer risk than BMI.

Study design

  • UK Biobank study of 135,110 post-menopausal women.

  • Associations between various measures of body size/composition with the risk of endometrial cancer assessed.

  • Funding: None disclosed.

Key results

  • 706 endometrial cancers were identified, with a mean age at diagnosis of 65.5 years, during a mean follow-up of 6.8 years.

  • The HRs for endometrial cancer per 1-standard deviation (SD) increase in BMI, weight, body fat percentage, and fat mass were comparable:

    • BMI (HR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.61-1.82);

    • weight (HR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.60-1.81);

    • body fat percentage (HR, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.75-2.11); and

    • fat mass (HR, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.63-1.85).

  • However, in terms of X2 statistics, BMI was the most informative marker (X2 values for BMI, weight, body fat percentage, and fat mass were 509, 499, 456, and 501, respectively).

  • After adjustment for BMI, central adiposity, as reflected by waist circumference (HRper 1-SD increase, 1.08; 95% CI, 1.00-1.17) and waist to hip ratio (HRper 1-SD increase, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.01-1.26), was positively associated with endometrial cancer risk.

  • Hip circumference and fat-free mass were not associated with the endometrial cancer risk independent of BMI.


  • Study largely reflects associations with type I tumours.


Omiyale W, Allen NE, Sweetland S. Body size, body composition and endometrial cancer risk among postmenopausal women in UK Biobank. Int. J. Cancer. 2020 Apr 27 [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1002/ijc.33023. PMID: 32338769  View abstract 

This clinical summary first appeared on Univadis from Medscape.


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