Anthropometry, physical activity and cancer of unknown primary (CUP) risk: Results from the Netherlands cohort study

Karlijn E. P. E. Hermans*, Piet A. van den Brandt, Caroline Loef, Rob L. H. Jansen, Leo J. Schouten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Cancer of Unknown Primary (CUP) is a metastatic disease for which the primary tumour origin could not be identified during life. Few studies have investigated the risk factors associated with this disease. This study investigates anthropometry, physical activity and CUP risk.

Methods: Data is used from the Netherlands Cohort Study, which includes 120,852 participants aged 55-69 years. All cohort members completed a self-administered questionnaire on cancer risk factors at baseline in 1986. Cancer follow-up was established through record linkage to the Netherlands Cancer Registry and the Dutch Pathology Registry. After a follow-up of 20.3 years, 926 incident CUP cases and 4099 subcohort members were available for case-cohort analyses. Proportional hazards models were used to compute multivariable adjusted hazard ratios (HRs).

Results: We found no associations between height, body mass index (BMI) at baseline, BMI at age 20 years, change in BMI since age 20 years, clothing size (trouser/skirt size), or non-occupational physical activity and CUP risk.

Conclusion: Our findings indicate that neither anthropometry nor physical activity are associated with the development of CUP.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101836
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Epidemiology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Cancer of unknown primary (CUP)
  • Anthropometry
  • Body mass index
  • Physical activity
  • Prospective cohort study


Dive into the research topics of 'Anthropometry, physical activity and cancer of unknown primary (CUP) risk: Results from the Netherlands cohort study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this