Is A Body Shape Index (ABSI) associated with incident cancer? – Findings from the UK Biobank prospective cohort study


Session type:

Solange Parra Soto1, Fiona C Malcomson2, Jill P Pell1, Frederick K Ho1, Linda Sharp2, John C Mathers2, Carlos Celis-Morales1
1University of Glasgow, 2Newcastle University



Body mass index (BMI) has been the most commonly used marker of adiposity investigated for cancer risk. There is limited evidence on associations with emerging adiposity markers, such as  A Body Shape Index (ABSI). ABSI is a measure of body shape that is independent of BMI. This study investigated associations of ABSI with incidence of 24 cancers


442 614 participants (53.7% women; mean age 56.3 years) from the UK Biobank prospective cohort study were included in this study. ABSI was sex-standardised and used as exposure. Cox proportional hazard models were used to explore associations between ABSI and incidence of cancers at 24 sites and overall cancer risk.


The median follow-up period was 8.8 years (interquartile range 7.9 to 9.6). 36 961 individuals developed cancer over the follow-up period. ABSI was slightly correlated with BMI (r=0.12, p=<0.001). Participants in the highest tertile of ABSI had higher risk of liver (HR: 1.38 [95% CI: 1.26; 1.52]), lung (HR: 1.41 [95% CI: 1.16; 1.73]), colorectal (HR: 1.18 [95% CI: 1.09; 1.27]) and overall (HR: 1.09 [95% CI: 1.06; 1.12) cancer compared with the lowest tertile, after adjustment for BMI. When ABSI was combined with BMI, participants in the highest ABSI  who also had a BMI25kg/m2 were at greater risk of uterus (HR: 2.30 [1.89; 2.80]), oesophagus (1.68 [1.31; 2.15]), liver (HR: 1.46 [1.11; 1.91]), stomach (HR: 1.58 [1.20; 2.06]), kidney (HR: 1.59 [1.30; 1.96]), colorectal (HR: 1.29 [1.17; 1.42]) and breast cancers (HR: 1.22 [1.14; 1.31])) and overall cancer (HR: 1.13 [1.10; 1.17]) compared with those in the lowest ABSI tertile with a normal BMI.


After adjustment for BMI, ABSI, was associated with increased risk for three cancer sites. However, the combination with BMI had an association with seven cancer sites

Impact statement

Having a higher ABSI and excess body weight (defined as BMI 25) was associated with greater risk of cancer at seven sites, including uterus, oesophagus, liver, stomach, kidney, colorectal and breast.