The global burden of cancer attributable to risk factors, 2010-19: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019

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Background Understanding the magnitude of cancer burden attributable to potentially modifiable risk factors is crucial for development of effective prevention and mitigation strategies. We analysed results from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2019 to inform cancer control planning efforts globally. Methods The GBD 2019 comparative risk assessment framework was used to estimate cancer burden attributable to behavioural, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risk factors. A total of 82 risk–outcome pairs were included on the basis of the World Cancer Research Fund criteria. Estimated cancer deaths and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) in 2019 and change in these measures between 2010 and 2019 are presented. Findings Globally, in 2019, the risk factors included in this analysis accounted for 4·45 million (95% uncertainty interval 4·01–4·94) deaths and 105 million (95·0–116) DALYs for both sexes combined, representing 44·4% (41·3–48·4) of all cancer deaths and 42·0% (39·1–45·6) of all DALYs. There were 2·88 million (2·60–3·18) risk-attributable cancer deaths in males (50·6% [47·8–54·1] of all male cancer deaths) and 1·58 million (1·36–1·84) risk-attributable cancer deaths in females (36·3% [32·5–41·3] of all female cancer deaths). The leading risk factors at the most detailed level globally for risk-attributable cancer deaths and DALYs in 2019 for both sexes combined were smoking, followed by alcohol use and high BMI. Risk-attributable cancer burden varied by world region and Socio-demographic Index (SDI), with smoking, unsafe sex, and alcohol use being the three leading risk factors for risk-attributable cancer DALYs in low SDI locations in 2019, whereas DALYs in high SDI locations mirrored the top three global risk factor rankings. From 2010 to 2019, global risk-attributable cancer deaths increased by 20·4% (12·6–28·4) and DALYs by 16·8% (8·8–25·0), with the greatest percentage increase in metabolic risks (34·7% [27·9–42·8] and 33·3% [25·8–42·0]). Interpretation The leading risk factors contributing to global cancer burden in 2019 were behavioural, whereas metabolic risk factors saw the largest increases between 2010 and 2019. Reducing exposure to these modifiable risk factors would decrease cancer mortality and DALY rates worldwide, and policies should be tailored appropriately to local cancer risk factor burden.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)563-591
Number of pages29
Issue number10352
StatePublished - Aug 18 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-10-10
Acknowledgements: We are grateful to the surveillance systems, including cancer registries, that generated and shared observed cancer burden data. S M Aljunid acknowledges the Department of Health Policy and Management, College of Public Health, Kuwait University for the approval and support to participate in this research project. H Ariffin acknowledges support from the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia (grant FRGS/1/2021/SKK0/UM/01/1). F Barra acknowledges support from Lega Italiana per la Lotta contro i Tumori - LILT - Bando 5 x 1000 anno 2019. L Belo and M Carvalho acknowledge the support from FCT in the scope of the project UIDP/04378/2020 and UIDB/04378/2020 of UCIBIO and the project LA/P/0140/2020 of i4HB. A J Cohen was supported by the Health Effects Institute, Boston, MA, USA. J Conde acknowledges financial support from the European Research Council - ERC Starting Grant 848325. V M Costa acknowledges her grant (SFRH/BHD/110001/2015), received by Portuguese national funds through Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT), IP, under the Norma Transitória DL57/2016/CP1334/CT0006. T C Ekundayo was supported by the African-German Network of Excellence in Science (AGNES), the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH). N Ghith acknowledges support from a grant from Novo Nordisk Foundation (NNF16OC0021856). J C Glasbey is support by a Doctoral Research Fellowship from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR300175). V K Gupta and V B Gupta acknowledge funding support from National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Australia. C Herteliu, A Pana, and M Ausloos acknowledge partial support by a grant of the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation, CNDS-UEFISCDI, project number PN-III-P4-ID-PCCF-2016-0084. C Herteliu is also partially supported by a grant of the Romanian Ministry of Research Innovation and Digitalization, MCID, project number ID-585-CTR-42-PFE-2021. S Hussain was supported from Operational Programme Research, Development and Education–Project, Postdoc2MUNI (number CZ.02.2.69/0.0/0.0/18_053/0016952). M Jakovljevic acknowledges partial support through the grant OI 175 014 of the Ministry of Education Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia. J H Kauppila acknowledges research grants from Sigrid Jusélius Foundation and the Finnish Cancer Foundation. M N Khatib acknowledges support from Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences (deemed-to-be-university). Y J Kim was supported by the Research Management Centre, Xiamen University Malaysia [XMUMRF/2020-C6/ITCM/0004]. S L Koulmane Laxminarayana acknowledges institutional assistance by Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal. K Krishan is supported by the UGC Centre of Advanced Study (Phase II), awarded to the Department of Anthropology, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India. I Landires is a member of the Sistema Nacional de Investigación (SNI), which is supported by Panama's Secretaría Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (SENACYT). M-C Li was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (MOST 110-2314-B-003-001). G Liu acknowledges support from the CREATE Hope scientific fellowship from Lung Foundation Australia. J Liu acknowledges support from the National Natural Science Foundation (72122001). J A Loureiro was supported by Scientific Employment Stimulus (FCT; CEECINST/00049/2018). E Mathews is supported by a Clinical and Public Health Early Career Fellowship (grant number IA/CPHE/17/1/503345) from the DBT India Alliance/Wellcome Trust Department of Biotechnology, India Alliance (2018–2023). T J Meretoja was supported by an unrestricted grant from Cancer Foundation Finland sr. S Mohammed acknowledges a fellowship grant from Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, outside the submitted work. M Molokhia is supported by the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Center at Guy's and St Thomas’ National Health Service Foundation Trust and King's College London. L Monasta received support from the Italian Ministry of Health at the Institute for Maternal and Child Health IRCCS Burlo Garofolo, Trieste - Italy (RC 34/2017). U Mons is supported by the Marga and Walter Boll Foundation, Kerpen, Germany. M A Moosavi acknowledges the financial support of National Institute of Genetics Engineering and Biotechnology (NIGEB). J Musa acknowledges support from the NIH/FIC K43TW011416 for research-protected time for cervical cancer research and career development at University of Jos. V Nuñez-Samudio is a member of the Sistema Nacional de Investigación (SNI), which is supported by Panama's Secretaría Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (SENACYT). O O Odukoya acknowledges support by the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health under the award number K43TW010704 for research-protected time. The content is solely the responsibility of all the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. A S Oguntade acknowledges funding by a doctoral scholarship from the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford (Oxford Population Health). J R Padubidri acknowledges Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal for their constant support in research collaborations. R G Pestell acknowledges support from NIH grant W81XWH1810605 Breast Cancer Research, Breakthrough Grant R21 CA235139-01. Z Z Piracha acknowledges the International Center of Medical Sciences Research (ICMSR), Islamabad (44000), Pakistan. R A Radhakrishnan acknowledges support from Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance - IA/CPHI/18/1/503927. U Saeed acknowledges the International Center of Medical Sciences Research (ICMSR), Islamabad, Pakistan. A M Samy acknowledges the support from Ain Shams University and the Egyptian Fulbright Mission Program. F Sha was supported by the Shenzhen Science and Technology Program (grant number KQTD20190929172835662). H R Shahsavari acknowledges the Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Sciences (IASBS) Research Council. A Shetty acknowledges Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal for all the academic support. D A S Silva acknowledges financing in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—Brazil (CAPES)—Finance Code 001 and D A S Silva is supported in part by CNPq-Brazil (309589/2021-5). L M L R Silva was supported by project CENTRO-04-3559-FSE-000162, Fundo Social Europeu (FSE). Am Singh is supported by the International Graduate Research Scholarship, University of Tasmania. R Suliankatchi Abdulkader acknowledges support from ICMR—National Institute of Epidemiology. B Unnikrishnan acknowledges Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal. H Xiao acknowledges support from the Public Health Sciences Division of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. X Xu is supported by the University of New South Wales (Australia) Scientia Program. C Yu was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant number 82173626) and Wuhan Medical Research Program of Joint Fund of Hubei Health Committee (grant number WJ2019H304).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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