The aims of the study were to identify whether obese women are less appropriately screened for cervical cancer before diagnosis and to explore related cancer outcomes.
We retrospectively reviewed all cervical cancer patients at a single institution between 1986 and 2016 and collected demographic information including age, cancer stage, body mass index (BMI), screening information, and cancer outcomes. Morbid obesity was defined as BMI of 40 kg/m2 or greater, obesity as BMI of 30 to less than 40 kg/m2, and nonobese as BMI of less than 30 kg/m2. χ2, Fisher exact, and Wilcoxon rank sum tests were used to compare variables between BMI categories. Cox regression models were used to evaluate recurrence-free survival and overall survival (OS).
A total of 1,080 patients were reviewed, of whom 311 (29.4%) were obese and 107 (10.1%) morbidly obese. A significant association between BMI and cytology screening was evidenced with morbidly obese women having the highest incorrect rate (64.4%), followed by obese (51.5%) and nonobese women (46.0%, p < .01). There was no significant difference in presence of symptoms at presentation (p = .12) or stage (p = .06) between BMI categories. In multivariable analysis of cancer outcomes, higher BMI was associated with worse OS (p < .01) with a hazard ratio of 1.25 (95% CI = 0.92–1.69) for obese women and hazard ratio 2.27 (95% CI = 1.56–3.31) for morbidly obese women relative to normal weight but recurrence-free survival did not differ between BMI groups (p = .07).
Our study strengthens evidence that obese and morbidly obese women have disproportionate inappropriate screening before cervical cancer diagnosis, and morbidly obese women have worse OS than their counterparts.