Previous studies suggest that abnormal energy balance status may dysregulate intestinal epithelial homeostasis and promote colorectal carcinogenesis, yet little is known about how host energy balance and obesity influence enterocyte differentiation during carcinogenesis. We hypothesized that the association between high body mass index (BMI) and colorectal carcinoma incidence might differ according to tumor histopathologic differentiation status. Using databases of the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study, and duplication-method Cox proportional hazards models, we prospectively examined an association between BMI and the incidence of colorectal carcinoma subtypes classified by differentiation features. 120,813 participants were followed for 26 or 32 years and 1528 rectal and colon cancer cases with available tumor pathological data were documented. The association between BMI and colorectal cancer risk significantly differed depending on the presence or absence of poorly-differentiated foci (Pheterogeneity = 0.006). Higher BMI was associated with a higher risk of colorectal carcinoma without poorly-differentiated foci (≥30.0 vs. 18.5–22.4 kg/m2: multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio, 1.87; 95% confidence interval, 1.49–2.34; Ptrend < 0.001), but not with risk of carcinoma with poorly-differentiated foci (Ptrend = 0.56). This differential association appeared to be consistent in strata of tumor microsatellite instability or FASN expression status, although the statistical power was limited. The association between BMI and colorectal carcinoma risk did not significantly differ by overall tumor differentiation, mucinous differentiation, or signet ring cell component (Pheterogeneity > 0.03, with the adjusted α of 0.01). High BMI was associated with risk of colorectal cancer subtype containing no poorly-differentiated focus. Our findings suggest that carcinogenic influence of excess energy balance might be stronger for tumors that retain better intestinal differentiation throughout the tumor areas.
- Glandular epithelium
- Molecular pathological epidemiology
- Stem cell
ASJC Scopus subject areas