Childhood body mass index growth trajectories and endometrial cancer risk

Julie Aarestrup, Michael Gamborg, Kate Tilling, Lian G Ulrich, Thorkild I. A. Sørensen, Jennifer L. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Previously, we found that excess weight already in childhood has positive associations with endometrial cancer; however, associations with changes in body mass index (BMI) during childhood are not well understood. Therefore, we examined whether growth in childhood BMI is associated with endometrial cancer and its sub-types. A cohort of 155,505 girls from the Copenhagen School Health Records Register with measured weights and heights at the ages of 6–14 years and born 1930–1989 formed the analytical population. BMI was transformed to age-specific z scores. Using linear spline multilevel models, each girl's BMI growth trajectory was estimated as the deviance from the average trajectory for three different growth periods (6.25–7.99, 8.0–10.99, 11.0–14.0 years). Via a link to health registers, 1,020 endometrial cancer cases were identified, and Cox regressions were performed. A greater gain in BMI during childhood was positively associated with endometrial cancer but no differences between the different growth periods were detected in models adjusted for baseline BMI. The hazard ratios for the associations with overall growth during childhood per 0.1 z score increase were 1.15 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.07–1.24) for all endometrial cancers, 1.12 (95% CI: 1.04–1.21) for estrogen-dependent cancers, 1.16 (95% CI: 1.06–1.26) for endometrioid adenocarcinomas and 1.46 (95% CI: 1.16–1.84) for non-estrogen-dependent cancers. Growth in BMI in early life is positively linked to later endometrial cancer risk. We did not identify any sensitive childhood growth period, which suggests that excess gain in BMI during the entire childhood period should be avoided.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310–315
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number2
Early online date8 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2017


  • Body Weights and Measures
  • Child
  • Endometrial neoplasms
  • Growth and developmant
  • Obesity


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