Serum Lipid Profiles and Risk of Colorectal Cancer

Dawn O'Shea

November 11, 2020

A team of researchers led by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the US has used data from the UK Biobank to examine the relationship between serum lipid profiles and risk of colorectal cancer (CRC).

Obesity and poor diet are considered to be the major risk factors for CRC. Given the close link between obesity and dyslipidaemia, the researchers carried out a prospective cohort study of 380,087 adults aged 40-69 years in the UK Biobank.

Serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, total cholesterol, triglycerides and apolipoprotein A and B were measured.

During a median of 10.3 years of follow-up, 2667 incident CRC cases were documented.

None of the lipid biomarkers studied was associated with the risk of CRC after adjusting for potential confounding factors, including body mass index and waist circumference.

When assessed by cancer subsites, serum triglycerides levels were associated with an increased risk of cancer in the caecum (HR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.00-1.25) and transverse colon (HR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.08-1.53). Apolipoprotein A was associated with a lower risk of hepatic flexure cancer (HR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.56-0.96).

Presenting the findings in the  British Journal of Cancer,  the authors concluded that serum lipid profiles were not associated with colorectal cancer risk after adjusting for obesity indicators. They said the potential subsite-specific effects of triglycerides and apolipoprotein A require further confirmation.

Fang Z, He M, Song M. Serum lipid profiles and risk of colorectal cancer: a prospective cohort study in the UK Biobank. Br J Cancer. 2020 Nov 3 [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1038/s41416-020-01143-6. PMID: 33139801 View abstract

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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