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Significant adult weight gain can increase cancer risk

Substantial weight gain over many years significantly increases the risk of obesity-related cancers, say researchers from the University of Manchester and The Health eResearch Centre. 
obesity

Substantial weight gain over many years significantly increases the risk of obesity-related cancers, say researchers from the University of Manchester and The Health eResearch Centre.

They studied around 300,000 people in the US about 177,500 men and 111,500 women looking at changes in body mass index (BMI) between the ages of 18-65 years.

The study population was then followed up for around 15 years to see who went on to develop obesity-related cancers.

The researchers found that men who went from a BMI of around 22 to 27 had a 50% increased risk of developing obesity-related cancer compared to men who stayed within a healthy weight range. In men who went from being overweight to morbidly

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Substantial weight gain over many years significantly increases the risk of obesity-related cancers, say researchers from the University of Manchester and The Health eResearch Centre. 

They studied around 300,000 people in the US – about 177,500 men and 111,500 women – looking at changes in body mass index (BMI) between the ages of 18-65 years.


The researchers found that men who went from a BMI of around 22 to 27 had a 50%
increased risk of developing obesity-related cancer. Picture: Alamy 

The study population was then followed up for around 15 years to see who went on to develop obesity-related cancers. 

The researchers found that men who went from a BMI of around 22 to 27 had a 50% increased risk of developing obesity-related cancer compared to men who stayed within a healthy weight range. In men who went from being overweight to morbidly obese, the risk went up by 53%, compared to men who stayed at a healthy weight. 

Patient benefit

Women who went from a BMI of 23 to about 32 had a 17% increased risk, compared to women whose weight started off in the healthy bracket and remained stable. 

‘This study could be useful in public health,’ said lead study author Hannah Lennon. ‘It could help identify people who would benefit the most from taking action to control their weight before any health problems arise, including a cancer diagnosis.’ 

The study results were presented at the 2016 National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Cancer conference in Liverpool, which took place between 6-9 November. 


Lennon H et al (2016) Lifetime BMI trajectory classes and obesity-related cancer risk in a US retrospective cohort study. NCRI Cancer Conference Abstracts. tinyurl.com/q77n2n3 

 

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