People who are obese have a greater risk of developing and dying from several types of cancer including malignancies of the breast, ovary, kidney, pancreas, colon, rectum, and bone marrow, new research confirms.
Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, and the obesity rate has more than doubled over the past generation. Even though excess weight is thought to influence the odds of developing and dying from a wide variety of tumors, the study found “strong evidence” supporting this connection for 11 cancers.
“Other associations could also be genuine, but there is still substantial uncertainty about them,” lead study author Dr. Maria Kyrgiou of Imperial College London said by email.
Globally, 1.9 billion adults are overweight or obese, according to the World Health Organization. Roughly four in 10 adults are oisverweight, and more than one in 10 are obese, a condition that increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, kidney problems and joint disorders in addition to certain cancers.
For the study, researchers analyzed results from 204 previously published studies exploring the connection between obesity, weight gain, waist circumference and 36 different cancers.
Researchers looked in particular for evidence that the previous results might have exaggerated the link between obesity and cancer or found a connection that was too small to rule out the possibility that it was due to chance.
They found the strongest links were between obesity and malignancies of the digestive organs and for hormone-related tumors in women, according to the report in The BMJ.
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