Rising incidences of Warthin’s tumors may be linked to obesity: a single-institutional experience

  • Lorenz Kadletz
  • Stefan Grasl
  • Christos Perisanidis
  • Matthäus C. Grasl
  • Boban M. ErovicEmail author
Head & Neck



Recently, there has been an increase in the number of reported Warthin’s tumors, but few risk factors have been described for this benign tumor. Yet, smoking is the only evidently identified risk factor. Obesity and the metabolic syndrome are causally linked to or a risk factor for a variety of diseases. Therefore, we analyzed whether metabolic syndrome, including obesity, might influence the incidence of Warthin’s tumors.


In this retrospective study, we evaluated 197 patients with Warthin’s tumor. We assessed the tumor size, the body mass index (BMI), comorbidities related to the metabolic syndrome, and cigarette and alcohol consumption. Additionally, we evaluated several blood parameters and their influence.


Warthin’s tumor patients had a significantly higher BMI in comparison to patients with other benign parotid gland tumors (29.1 versus 26.2, p < 0.0001). The rate of metabolic syndrome-associated comorbidities was higher in Warthin’s tumor patients (62.4% versus 35.2%, p < 0.0001).


Our results might be the first step to recognize obesity and its consequences as a co-driver in the formation of Warthin’s tumors. Nevertheless, further studies are requested to validate our results and to answer the question whether obesity or the metabolic syndrome are integrally linked to Warthin’s tumors.


Warthin’s tumor Obesity Etiology Risk factor Incidence 



This study was presented at the 60th Annual Meeting of the Austrian Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Villach, Austria, September, 2016.


No third party funding was obtained for this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors state to have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck SurgeryMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Department of Maxillofacial SurgeryUniversity of AthensAthensGreece
  3. 3.Institute of Head and Neck SurgeryEvangelical HospitalViennaAustria

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