Background: Few studies have considered the potential utility of clothing size as a predictor of diseases associated with body weight.
Methods: We used data on weight-stable men and women from a subcohort of the Netherlands Cohort Study to assess the correlation of clothing size with other anthropometric variables. Cox regression using the case-cohort approach was performed to establish whether clothing size can predict cancer risk after 13.3 years of follow-up, and if additionally considering body mass index (BMI) in the model improves the prediction.
Results: Trouser and skirt size correlated well with circumference measurements. Skirt size predicted endometrial cancer risk, and this effect was slightly attenuated when BMI was added to the model. Trouser size predicted risk of renal cell carcinoma, regardless of whether BMI was in the model.
Conclusions: Clothing size appears to predict cancer risk independently of BMI, suggesting that clothing size is a useful measure to consider in epidemiologic studies when waist circumference is not available.