Article Abstract

A case-control study of the association between metabolic syndrome and colorectal cancer: a comparison of International Diabetes Federation, National Cholesterol Education Program Adults Treatment Panel III, and World Health Organization definitions

Authors: Vaidehi Ulaganathan, Mirnalini Kandiah, Zalilah Mohd Shariff


Background: Metabolic syndrome was linked with various chronic diseases, including cancer. The study on the effect of metabolic syndrome on colorectal cancer (CRC) was not conducted in Malaysia. Therefore, this study aims to determine the association between metabolic syndromes and its components with CRC, based on the three established definitions.
Methods: A multi-centred matched case control study was conducted in five local hospitals. A total of 140 histologically confirmed CRC cases were matched with 280 cancer free controls. Mean value and prevalence of the components of metabolic syndrome between cases and controls were measured based on the three definitions. A multiple variable analysis using Cox regression was conducted to measure the strength of the association between the definitions of MetS, components of MetS and risk of CRC.
Results: Multiple variable analyses showed that metabolic syndrome significantly and independently increased the risk of CRC, with an odds ratio ranging from 1.79 to 2.61. This study identified that the definition of metabolic syndrome by the International Diabetes Federation is the most sensitive in predicting the risk of CRC, compared to metabolic syndrome as defined by the World Health Organization and National Cholesterol Education Program Adults Treatment Panel III. Abdominal obesity, low HDL-cholesterol, and hypertension were identified as the three core risk factors, which promote inflammatory signals that contribute to metabolic syndrome and an increased risk of CRC.
Conclusions: These data hypothesized that simple measurement of abdominal obesity, abnormal BP and HDL-cholesterol especially using International Diabetes Federation (IDF) definition of MetS for South Asians for to detect individuals at CRC risk may have higher clinical utility than applying other universal complex MetS definitions.