A Systematic Literature Review and Meta-Regression Analysis on Early-Life Energy Restriction and Cancer Risk in Humans

Rachel J. J. Elands*, Colinda C. J. M. Simons, Martinus van Dongen, Leo J. Schouten, Bas A. J. Verhage, Piet A. van den Brandt, Matty P. Weijenberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background In animal models, long-term moderate energy restriction (ER) is reported to decelerate carcinogenesis, whereas the effect of severe ER is inconsistent. The impact of early-life ER on cancer risk has never been reviewed systematically and quantitatively based on observational studies in humans. Objective We conducted a systematic review of observational studies and a meta-(regression) analysis on cohort studies to clarify the association between early-life ER and organ site-specific cancer risk. Methods PubMed and EMBASE (1982 - August 2015) were searched for observational studies. Summary relative risks (RRs) were estimated using a random effects model when available >= 3 studies. Results Twenty-four studies were included. Eleven publications, emanating from seven prospective cohort studies and some reporting on multiple cancer endpoints, met the inclusion criteria for quantitative analysis. Women exposed to early-life ER (ranging from 220-1660 kcal/day) had a higher breast cancer risk than those not exposed (RRRE all ages = 1.28, 95% CI: 1.05-1.56; RRRE for 10-20 years of age = 1.21, 95% CI: 1.09-1.34). Men exposed to early-life ER (ranging from 220-800kcal/day) had a higher prostate cancer risk than those not exposed (RRRE = 1.16, 95% CI: 1.03-1.30). Summary relative risks were not computed for colorectal cancer, because of heterogeneity, and for stomach-, pancreas-, ovarian-, and respiratory cancer because there were
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0158003
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sept 2016

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