Metabolic syndrome and risk of endometrial cancer in postmenopausal women: a prospective study

Rhonda S. Arthur, Geoffrey C. Kabat, Mimi Y. Kim, Robert A. Wild, Aladdin H. Shadyab, Jean Wactawski-Wende, Gloria Yuen Fun Ho, Katherine W. Reeves, Lewis H. Kuller, Juhua Luo, Jennifer Beebe-Dimmer, Michael S. Simon, Howard Strickler, Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, Thomas E. Rohan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Obesity is a strong risk factor for endometrial cancer, but it is unclear whether metabolic syndrome (MetS) contributes to endometrial cancer risk over and above the contribution of obesity. Methods: We examined the association of MetS and its components with risk of endometrial cancer in a sub-cohort of 24,210 women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative cohort study. Two variants of the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III definition of the MetS were used: one including and one excluding waist circumference (WC). Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate the association of the study exposures with disease risk. Results: When WC was included in the definition, MetS showed an approximately two-fold increase in endometrial cancer risk (HR 2.20; 95% CI 1.61–3.02); however, when WC was excluded, MetS was no longer associated with risk. We also observed that women with hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia and hypertension, in combination, had almost a twofold increased risk of endometrial cancer, independent of WC (HR 1.94; 95% CI 1.09, 3.46). Glucose, and, in particular, WC and body mass index were also positively associated with risk. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that MetS may predict risk of endometrial cancer independent of obesity among women with the remaining four Mets components.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-363
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 15 2019


  • Abdominal adiposity
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity
  • Postmenopausal women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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