International Journal of Colorectal Disease

, Volume 25, Issue 11, pp 1293–1299

Impact of obesity on surgical and oncological outcomes in the management of colorectal cancer

Authors

  • Laura A. Healy
    • Department of Clinical NutritionSt James’s Hospital and Trinity College Dublin
  • Aoife M. Ryan
    • Department of Clinical NutritionSt James’s Hospital and Trinity College Dublin
  • Ellis Sutton
    • Student DietitianTrinity College Dublin
  • Katherine Younger
    • Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT)
  • Brain Mehigan
    • Department of SurgerySt James’s Hospital and Trinity College Dublin
  • Richard Stephens
    • Department of SurgerySt James’s Hospital and Trinity College Dublin
    • Department of SurgerySt James’s Hospital and Trinity College Dublin
    • Department of Clinical SurgerySt James’s Hospital and Trinity College
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00384-010-0963-0

Cite this article as:
Healy, L.A., Ryan, A.M., Sutton, E. et al. Int J Colorectal Dis (2010) 25: 1293. doi:10.1007/s00384-010-0963-0

Abstract

Introduction

Obesity is an established risk factor for colorectal cancer, particularly in males, and may negatively impact on oncologic outcomes. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of body mass index (BMI) on mortality and morbidity, tumour pathology, and overall survival in a consecutive cohort of Irish colorectal cancer patients treated with curative intent.

Methods

A retrospective analysis of BMI data entered prospectively into a comprehensive electronic database of colorectal cancer patients was undertaken. Patients were excluded if they had emergency surgery, previous malignancy or the BMI was not recorded. Analysis was performed comparing genders, obese with non-obese and comparing BMI categories.

Results

Of the 414 patients, 10% were underweight (<20 kg/m2); 35% were normal weight (20–25 kg/m2); 37% were overweight (25–30 kg/m2), and 18% were obese (≥30.00 kg/m2). Obesity overall was not significantly associated with pathological stage (p = 0.099) or positive lymph node status (p = 0.109) or degree of nodal involvement (p = 0.068). Obesity was significantly (p<0.05) associated with more advanced pathological stage, node positivity and degree of nodal involvement in male only and colon cancer only analysis. There was no difference in the overall incidence of major (p = 0.244) and minor complications (p = 0.078) when comparing obese with non-obese, but pelvic abscesses were more common in obese patients (p = 0.037). The underweight cohort had a higher rate of major complications (p = 0.041), sepsis (p = 0.024) and post-operative death (p = 0.006). Survival was equivalent between BMI categories and obese and non-obese groups (p = 0.469).

Conclusion

Obesity was associated with more advanced tumours in males and in colon cancer patients only and with a higher risk of post-operative pelvic abscesses but no significant differences with non-obese cohorts in the main outcome measures of in-hospital mortality, major morbidity and survival. Conversely, the adverse consequences of under-nutrition were highlighted in this study.

Keywords

Colorectal cancerObesityTumour pathologyComplicationsMortalitySurvivalMorbidity

Abbreviations

BMI

Body mass index

CT

Computed tomography

ECOG

Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group

ASA

American Society of Anaesthesiologists

ARDS

Acute respiratory distress syndrome

SPSS

Statistical Package for the Social Sciences

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010