Aarhus University Hospital Large Cohort Study Reveals in Denmark Overweight and Obesity Increases are Associated with Cancer

Aarhus University Hospital Large Cohort Study Reveals in Denmark Overweight and Obesity Increases are Associated with Cancer

Researchers Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark conducted a study associating hospital-diagnosed overweight and obesity with an increased risk of a number of common cancers in the Danish population. They concluded that based on this large cohort study, overweight and obesity were associated with an increased risk of several common cancers.

The recent study results were published in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

Led by Sigrid Bjerge Gribsholt, MD, PhD from Aarhus University Hospital, as well as team members, the Danish group assessed a large cohort of the Danish population with a focus on cancer incidence and specific site-related cancer incidences associated with patients with hospital-diagnosed overweight and obesity versus the overall population.


The study findings are included here:

The teams observed 20 706 cancers among 313 321 patients diagnosed with overweight and obesity (median age 43 years; median follow‐up 6.7 years, range 1–40 years) compared to the 18 480 cancers expected; thus, the SIR was 1.12 [95% confidence interval (95% CI): 1.11–1.14]. The SIR associated with overweight and obesity was increased with concomitant comorbidities, like type 2 diabetes (SIR: 1.18; 95% CI: 1.13–1.23) and alcoholism‐related diseases (SIR: 1.62; 95% CI: 1.45–1.82). The SIR was 1.31 (95% CI: 1.28–1.34) for cancers previously identified as obesity‐related, including pancreatic (SIR: 1.38; 95% CI; 1.27–1.49) and postmenopausal breast cancer (SIR: 1.14; 95% CI: 1.09–1.19). Obesity/overweight status also elevated the SIRs for haematological (SIR: 1.24; 95% CI: 1.18–1.29) and neurological cancers (SIR: 1.19; 95% CI: 1.11–1.27]. In contrast, SIRs were 1.01 (95% CI: 0.97–1.05) for immune‐related cancers, 0.88 (95% CI: 0.82–0.95) for malignant melanoma, and 0.88 (95% CI: 0.85–0.92) for hormone‐related cancers, other than postmenopausal breast cancer.

With comorbidities, including type 2 diabetes and alcoholism-related diseases.

About Aarhus University Hospital

Aarhus University Hospital (AUH) is a university hospital located in Aarhus, Denmark. The hospital develops and provides highly specialized medical treatment, research, and education at an international level. The university hospital’s headquarters and main department, known as The New University Hospital (DNU), is the largest single hospital in Denmark and one of the largest in Europe.

Aarhus University Hospital is the local hospital for citizens in Aarhus and the island of Samsø, but also offers specialized treatments to the citizens of the Central Denmark Region and other regions in Denmark. It has been ranked the best hospital in Denmark consecutively since 2008.

Lead Research/Investigator

Sigrid Bjerge Gribsholt, MD, PhD