Meta-analysis reveals gender difference in the association of liver cancer incidence and excess BMI

Kun-Fang Yao, Ming Ma, Guo-Yong Ding, Zhan-Ming Li, Hui-Ling Chen, Bing Han, Qiang Chen, Xin-Quan Jiang and Li-Shun Wang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:72959-72971. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.20127

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Kun-Fang Yao1,2,*, Ming Ma1,*, Guo-Yong Ding2, Zhan-Ming Li1, Hui-Ling Chen1, Bing Han1, Qiang Chen2, Xin-Quan Jiang2 and Li-Shun Wang1

1Institute of Fudan-Minhang Academic Health System, Minhang Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, P.R. China

2School of Public Health Taishan Medical University, Shandong, P.R. China

*Authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Li-Shun Wang, email: [email protected]

Xin-Quan Jiang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: BMI, liver cancer, meta-analysis, incidence

Received: February 20, 2017     Accepted: July 30, 2017     Published: August 10, 2017


Excess body weight has a positive association with risk of liver cancer, but the gender difference in the relationship between body mass index and liver cancer risk remains uncertainty. In this work, we performed meta-analysis for excess body weight and risk of liver cancer incidence to identify the gender difference. We searched the English-languages database and the Chinese literature databases to May 12, 2017. Overall, a total of 17 studies were included. Relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals was used to evaluate the strength of these associations. The RRs of liver cancer incidence for obese men and women were 2.04 (1.70–2.44) and 1.56 (1.37–1.78). The former one was significantly higher than the later one (P for interaction = 0.02). Notably, the RR of liver cancer incidence in non-Asian obese men was even higher than their counter part (2.31(1.85–2.91) vs. 1.56 (1.31–1.86), P for interaction = 0.01). Similar gender difference was observed in the dose-response curve. As example, at the point of BMI = 32 kg/m2, the RRs for men and women were 1.61 (1.45–1.79) and 1.41 (1.02–1.94) respectively. Findings from this meta-analysis indicate that obesity is associated with a higher risk of liver cancer incidence in men, especially in non-Asian men, which might partially contribute to the male dominance of liver cancer incidence.

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