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Approved research

Adiposity measurements, types of body fat, weight change, and related genetic markers in relation to cancer risk

Principal Investigator: Dr Wei Zheng
Approved Research ID: 24487
Approval date: March 1st 2017

Lay summary

Virtually no epidemiologic studies have evaluated the association of objectively measured central obesity with cancer risk. The UK Biobank cohort provides an exceptional opportunity to evaluate this association. We propose: 1) to evaluate the associations of objectively measured body fats, weight gain, and BMI with total and site-specific cancer risk; 2) to determine associations of BMI and central obesity with breast and colorectal risks via Mendelian randomization analyses; and 3) to assess the association between GWAS-identified BMI-associated genetic variants and weight change over the lifecourse. The associations of both adiposity and adult weight gain with cancer risk are of increasing public health importance because the prevalence of overweight and obese adults has increased markedly in recent decades. The results of our proposed study will increase knowledge of the influence of obesity on cancer risk. Additionally, our Mendelian randomization study, along with the evaluation of BMI-associated variants with weight gain, will provide insight into the complex relationship of genetically-determined body weight and cancer risk. We will use statistical methods to evaluate the association of cancer risk with body fat, fat around the mid-section, and weight change from childhood to adulthood. We will evaluate these relationships using information collected on body composition during the participants? baseline visits, and by using information from genetic markers that are known to be related to body mass index. We plan to conduct a cohort analysis for the first aim, including all cohort members who provided the data needed for the analysis. For the second aim, a nested case-control study will include all cases of breast (2,320) and colorectal (1,256) cancer and 4 matched controls per case whose genotyping data are available (approximately 17,880 total). The third aim will utilize all participants with sufficient genotyping data, a baseline measure of BMI, and at least one of the following measurements: a value for comparative body size at age 10 or a repeat assessment value for BMI.