Height and colorectal and endometrial cancer risk for persons with Lynch syndrome

J.G.M. Brouwer 1, D.J. Ahnen 2, J.J. Koornstra 3, F.M. Nagengast 4, H.F.A. Vasen 5, E. Kampman 1, F.J.B. van Duijnhoven 1

1 Division of Human Nutrition and Health, Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen, Netherlands. 2 University of Colorado School of Medicine and Gastroenterology of the Rockies, Denver/Boulder, USA. 3 Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands. 4 Department of Gastroenterology, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, Netherlands. 5 Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatoloy, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, Netherlands


Objectives Persons with Lynch syndrome (LS) have an increased colorectal (CRC) and endometrial (EC) cancer risk. Height is suggested to be positively associated with both CRC and EC risk in the general population. If height is also a risk factor for CRC and EC for persons with LS, it might be an easy tool to help identify those at high risk. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the association between height and CRC and EC for men and women with LS.

Methods Information of 1,155 men and 1,553 women with LS from the Colon Cancer Family Registry and GEOLynch study was harmonised. We used weighted Cox proportional hazard models with age on the time-axis to estimate adjusted hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for each 5 cm increment in self-reported height.

Results CRC was diagnosed in 947 (35.0%) persons during 65,369 person-years of observation and 171 (11.1%) women had EC during 39,227 person-years of observation. A 28% (HR 0.72, 95%CI 0.72-0.95) decreased CRC risk was observed for each 5 cm increment in height for men aged ≥55 year. There was no evidence for an association between height and EC, and height and CRC for women and for men aged <55 year.

Conclusions Being taller was inversely associated with CRC risk in men aged ≥55 years though confirmation or clarification of this association in other studies is warranted. No support was found for an association between height and CRC and EC for women with LS.