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Journal of Cancer Epidemiology
Volume 2014, Article ID 371254, 6 pages
Research Article

Adipokines Do Not Mediate the Association of Obesity and Colorectal Adenoma

1Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA
2Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
3Department of Biochemistry, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA

Received 23 April 2014; Accepted 31 July 2014; Published 13 August 2014

Academic Editor: Jia Chen

Copyright © 2014 Heather M. Ochs-Balcom et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. The association between obesity and colon neoplasia is well established but the underlying biological mechanisms are not fully understood. Rates of both obesity and colon cancer differ by race. Adipokines have been postulated as contributors to the observed association; however, few studies have examined the mediating effect of adipokines on the obesity-colon adenoma association with consideration of racial differences. Methods. We determined prediagnostic levels of adiponectin and leptin in Caucasians (217 cases and 650 controls) and African Americans (175 cases and 378 controls) participating in the Case Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer Colon Adenoma Study. We evaluated mediating effects of adiponectin and leptin on the association of abdominal adiposity and colon adenoma separately according to race using mediational pathway analysis. Results. We observed differences in circulating adipokine concentrations by race; African Americans had higher levels of leptin and lower levels of adiponectin than Caucasians for both adenoma cases and controls ( values <0.001). Leptin and adiponectin did not mediate the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) adenoma association in either group (all Sobel values >0.27). Conclusions. We found no evidence that leptin or adiponectin mediates the abdominal obesity-colorectal adenoma pathway. Larger studies on how these associations vary by race, sex, and obesity are needed.