open access publication

Article, 2022

Association between metabolic syndrome and 13 types of cancer in Catalonia: A matched case-control study

In: PLOS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, Volume 17, 3, Page e0264634, 10.1371/journal.pone.0264634

Contributors (6)

López-Jiménez, Tomàs (0000-0001-8255-4936) [1] [2] Duarte-Salles, Talita (0000-0002-8274-0357) [1] Plana-Ripoll, Oleguer (0000-0002-6470-7465) [3] Recalde, Martina (0000-0003-2256-618X) [1] [2] Xavier-Cos, Francesc [1] [4] [5] [6] [7] Puente, Diana (0000-0003-4725-537X) (Corresponding author) [1] [2]


  1. [1] Idiap Research Institute
  2. [NORA names: Switzerland; Europe, Non-EU; OECD]
  3. [2] Autonomous University of Barcelona
  4. [NORA names: Spain; Europe, EU; OECD]
  5. [3] Aarhus University
  6. [NORA names: AU Aarhus University; University; Denmark; Europe, EU; Nordic; OECD]
  7. [4] Chairman Primary Care Diabetes Europe, Ekerem, Belgium
  8. [5] Foundation Network of Study Groups of Diabetes in Primary Care (redGDPS), Sabadell, Spain
  9. [6] Institut Català de la Salut
  10. [NORA names: Spain; Europe, EU; OECD]
  11. [7] Primary Care Centre Sant Martí de Provençals, Primary Care Management, Barcelona, Spain


BACKGROUND: Metabolic syndrome (MS) is the simultaneous occurrence of a cluster of predefined cardiovascular risk factors. Although individual MS components are associated with increased risk of cancer, it is still unclear whether the association between MS and cancer differs from the association between individual MS components and cancer. The aim of this matched case-control study was to estimate the association of 13 types of cancer with (1) MS and (2) the diagnosis of 0, 1 or 2 individual MS components. METHODS: Cases included 183,248 patients ≥40 years from the SIDIAP database with incident cancer diagnosed between January 2008-December 2017. Each case was matched to four controls by inclusion date, sex and age. Adjusted conditional logistic regression models were used to evaluate the association between MS and cancer risk, comparing the effect of global MS versus having one or two individual components of MS. RESULTS: MS was associated with an increased risk of the following cancers: colorectal (OR: 1.28, 95%CI: 1.23-1.32), liver (OR: 1.93, 95%CI: 1.74-2.14), pancreas (OR: 1.79, 95%CI: 1.63-1.98), post-menopausal breast (OR: 1.10, 95%CI: 1.06-1.15), pre-menopausal endometrial (OR: 2.14, 95%CI: 1.74-2.65), post-menopausal endometrial (OR: 2.46, 95%CI: 2.20-2.74), bladder (OR: 1.41, 95%CI: 1.34-1.48), kidney (OR: 1.84, 95%CI: 1.69-2.00), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (OR: 1.23, 95%CI: 1.10-1.38), leukaemia (OR: 1.42, 95%CI: 1.31-1.54), lung (OR: 1.11, 95%CI: 1.05-1.16) and thyroid (OR: 1.71, 95%CI: 1.50-1.95). Except for prostate, pre-menopause breast cancer and Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, MS is associated with a higher risk of cancer than 1 or 2 individual MS components. Estimates were significantly higher in men than in women for colorectal and lung cancer, and in smokers than in non-smokers for lung cancer. CONCLUSION: MS is associated with a higher risk of developing 11 types of common cancer, with a positive correlation between number of MS components and risk of cancer.


  • Government of Catalonia
  • Institute of Health Carlos III


  • Title: Adjusted ORs of metabolic syndrome and lung cancer according to tobacco consumption.

  • Title: Association between selected cancers and number of Metabolic syndrome components.

  • Title: Characteristics of cancer cases and matched controls.