BackgroundObesity and diabetes are two risk factors for cancer. To evaluate the association of body mass index (BMI) with cancer risk in diabetic patients may improve current understanding of potential mechanisms.
MethodsA retrospective cohort study was conducted in 51,004 newly diagnosed T2DM patients derived from an electronic health record (EHR) database of Minhang district in Shanghai, China. Incident cancer cases and all-cause deaths occurred before September 30, 2015 were identified by linking with the Shanghai Cancer Registry and the Shanghai Vital Statistics. To examine the potential non-linear and linear relationships of BMI and cancer risk, Cox proportional hazard models with and without restricted cubic spline functions were used, respectively.
ResultsA non-linear association was observed between BMI and overall cancer incidence in men younger than 60 years old (p for non-linearity = 0.009). Compared with those having BMI of 25.0 kg/m2, the cancer risk increased in those with either lower or higher BMI. In women older than 60 years old, linear dose-response relationships were observed between BMI and the risk of both overall cancer and breast cancer. As each unit increase in BMI, the overall cancer risks elevated by 3% (95%CI: 1-5%) and the breast cancer risks increased by 7% (95%CI: 1-13%). No significant association was observed between BMI and other common cancer sites.
ConclusionsOur results show that the effect of BMI on cancer risk in Chinese patients with T2DM may vary by gender, age and cancer subtypes, suggesting different underlying biological mechanisms.