We aimed to ascertain whether waist circumference (WC) is associated with risk of colorectal neoplasia (CRN), independent of body mass index (BMI).
Although several studies have reported the association between abdominal obesity, measured by WC, and CRN, it remains unclear whether their association is biased by BMI.
A cross-sectional study was performed on 154,552 asymptomatic examinees who underwent colonoscopy for a health check-up.
The mean age was 42.6 years, and the proportion of males was 65.2%. The prevalence rate of CRN in subjects in WC quartiles 1, 2, 3, and 4 was 15.6%, 18.1%, 20.4%, and 22.0% among men and 7.8%, 9.4%, 12.2%, and 15.8% among women, respectively. WC and BMI were independent risk factors for overall CRN and nonadvanced CRN in both men and women. In men, the association of BMI with advanced CRN was attenuated to null after adjusting for WC [Q2, Q3, and Q4 vs. Q1; odds ratios (95% confidence intervals), 0.93 (0.79-1.10), 0.85 (0.71-1.03), and 0.99 (0.80-1.22), respectively; Ptrend=0.822], whereas the association of WC with advanced CRN significantly persisted even after adjusting for BMI [Q2, Q3, and Q4 vs. Q1; 1.20 (1.02-1.42), 1.45 (1.20-1.75), and 1.64 (1.32-2.04), respectively; Ptrend<0.001]. In women, neither WC nor BMI was associated with the risk of advanced CRN.
Abdominal obesity is associated with an increased risk of advanced CRN, independent of overall obesity (BMI) in men. Our findings suggest that abdominal obesity is more strongly predictive of advanced CRN than overall obesity in men.