Visceral Obesity May Affect Oncologic Outcome in Patients with Colorectal Cancer



Obesity is closely related to the development of colorectal cancer as well as other metabolic complications. We investigated the prognostic significance of visceral obesity and body mass index (BMI) in 161 resectable colorectal cancer patients.


Ratios of visceral fat area (VFA) to subcutaneous fat area (SFA) were measured from the digital images of patients’ computed tomography taken before the surgery, and patients were divided into those with high and those with low VFA/SFA ratio according to the degree of proportional visceral adiposity, and into an overweight and a normal-weight group according to their preoperative BMI.


The overweight group showed a borderline decrease in cumulative disease-free survival compared to the normal-weight group (P = 0.064). Patients with high VFA/SFA ratio (more than 50 percentiles) had significantly lower cumulative disease-free survival rate compared to patients with low VFA/SFA ratio (P = 0.008). BMI and visceral adiposity showed no influence on overall survival of patients.


Increased visceral adiposity was a significant predictor of disease-free survival in patients with resectable colorectal cancer. The prognostic significance of visceral adiposity should further be determined in a larger set of patients.

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Correspondence to Sang-Kyung Choi MD, PhD.

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Moon, H., Ju, Y., Jeong, C. et al. Visceral Obesity May Affect Oncologic Outcome in Patients with Colorectal Cancer. Ann Surg Oncol 15, 1918–1922 (2008).

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Key Words

  • Colorectal cancer
  • Prognosis
  • Obesity
  • Visceral obesity
  • Recurrence