Objective: This study determined the relationship between esophageal cancer in middle-aged and
elderly patients and body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR).Methods: A hospital-based case-control study was adopted. Two hundred eighty-two patients
who were diagnosed with esophageal cancer through clinical endoscopy, X-ray examination,
or histopathologic evaluation, and underwent surgery or received chemotherapy were
enrolled as cases. The control group consisted of 282 patients without any cancers
or esophageal diseases who were hospitalized during the same period in the same hospital.
Face-to-face interviews were conducted using standard survey forms, and the height,
weight, waist circumference, and hip circumference were measured to calculate the
BMI and WHR. The odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) between the patient
BMI and WHR and esophageal cancer were estimated using a multi-factor logistic regression
model.Results: There was no statistical difference between the case and control groups with respect
to age, gender, occupation, educational background, place of residence, and history
of high blood pressure (P>0.05); however, there were more cases who smoked cigarettes and consumed alcohol
than controls (P<0.05). Single-factor logistic regression analysis showed that the risk for esophageal
cancer in overweight and obese patients was 1.53- and 1.82-fold that of normoweight
patients, respectively. The risk for esophageal cancer in patients with a WHR in the
highest quartile was 1.85-fold the control patients with a WHR in the lowest quartile.
After confounding factors, such as gender and age, were adjusted, multi-factor logistic
regression analysis indicated that the risk for esophageal cancer in overweight and
obese patients increased by 59.4% (OR=1.594) and 78.2% (OR=1.782), respectively, when
compared with normoweight patients.Conclusion: BMI and WHR are important risk factors for esophageal cancer. Overweight and obese
patients are at increased risk for esophageal cancer. Maintaining a normal weight
may be a factor in preventing esophageal cancer.