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Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 27–37 | Cite as

Relationship between anthropometric factors, radiation exposure, and colon cancer incidence in the Life Span Study cohort of atomic bomb survivors

  • Erin O. Semmens
  • Kenneth J. Kopecky
  • Eric Grant
  • Robert W. Mathes
  • Nobuo Nishi
  • Hiromi Sugiyama
  • Hiroko Moriwaki
  • Ritsu Sakata
  • Midori Soda
  • Fumiyoshi Kasagi
  • Michiko Yamada
  • Saeko Fujiwara
  • Masazumi Akahoshi
  • Scott Davis
  • Kazunori Kodama
  • Christopher I. Li
Original paper

Abstract

Purpose

We examined colon cancer risk in atomic bomb survivors to investigate whether excess body weight after the bombings alters sensitivity to radiation effects.

Methods

Of the 56,064 Japanese atomic bomb survivors with follow-up through 2002 with self-reported anthropometric data obtained from periodic mail surveys, 1,142 were diagnosed with colon cancer. We evaluated the influence of body mass index (BMI) and height on radiation-associated colon cancer risk using Poisson regression.

Results

We observed a similar linear dose–response relationship for the 56,064 subjects included in our analysis and the entire cohort of Japanese atomic bomb survivors [excess relative risk (ERR) per Gray (Gy) = 0.53, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.25–0.86]. Elevation in earliest reported BMI, BMI reported closest to colon cancer diagnosis, and time-varying BMI were associated with an elevated risk of colon cancer [relative risk (RR) per 5 kg/m2 increase in BMI = 1.14, 95 % CI 1.03–1.26; RR = 1.16, 95 % CI 1.05–1.27; and RR = 1.15, 95 % CI 1.04–1.27, respectively]. Height was not significantly related to colon cancer risk. Inclusion of anthropometric variables in models had little impact on radiation risk estimates, and there was no evidence that sensitivity to the effect of radiation on colon cancer risk depended on BMI.

Conclusions

Radiation exposure and BMI are both risk factors for colon cancer. BMI at various times after exposure to the atomic bombings does not significantly influence the relationship between radiation dose and colon cancer risk, suggesting that BMI and radiation impact colon cancer risk independently of each other.

Keywords

Body mass index Radiation exposure Colon cancer Atomic bomb survivors 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank Kiyohiko Mabuchi for his thoughtful comments in the preparation of this manuscript. They are grateful for the contributions of the atomic bomb survivors who have contributed to this study. The Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF), Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, is a private, non-profit foundation funded by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). EOS, KJK, EG, RWM, SD, and CIL received support through DOE award DE-HS0000031 to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. The views of the authors do not necessarily reflect those of the two governments.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erin O. Semmens
    • 1
  • Kenneth J. Kopecky
    • 2
    • 3
  • Eric Grant
    • 4
  • Robert W. Mathes
    • 1
  • Nobuo Nishi
    • 5
  • Hiromi Sugiyama
    • 4
  • Hiroko Moriwaki
    • 4
  • Ritsu Sakata
    • 4
  • Midori Soda
    • 6
  • Fumiyoshi Kasagi
    • 7
  • Michiko Yamada
    • 8
  • Saeko Fujiwara
    • 8
  • Masazumi Akahoshi
    • 9
  • Scott Davis
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kazunori Kodama
    • 10
  • Christopher I. Li
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Division of Public Health SciencesFred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiostatisticsUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  4. 4.Department of EpidemiologyRadiation Effects Research FoundationMinami-kuJapan
  5. 5.Center for Collaboration and PartnershipNational Institute of Health and NutritionShinjuku-kuJapan
  6. 6.Department of EpidemiologyRadiation Effects Research FoundationNagasakiJapan
  7. 7.Institute of Radiation EpidemiologyRadiation Effects AssociationChiyoda-kuJapan
  8. 8.Department of Clinical StudiesRadiation Effects Research FoundationMinami-kuJapan
  9. 9.Department of Clinical StudiesRadiation Effects Research FoundationNagasakiJapan
  10. 10.Radiation Effects Research FoundationMinami-kuJapan

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