Nav: Home

Avoiding obesity and maintaining stable weight both important in preventing several obesity-related cancers in women

May 23, 2018

Avoiding obesity as well as maintaining a stable weight in middle adulthood could help prevent certain cancers in women, according to new research presented at this year's European Conference on Obesity (ECO) in Vienna, Austria (23-26 May). Among the findings were that women with a high weight gain (an increase of 10kg or more across 6 years) were near twice as likely to develop pancreatic cancer. The study was conducted by Marisa da Silva and colleagues at the Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway.

Obesity and weight gain are well known to independently increase the risk of several cancers, often referred to as "obesity-related" cancers. Previous studies have shown that it's not just having a high body mass index (BMI) that contributes towards an elevated cancer risk, but that a large gain in weight, irrespective of starting BMI is a contributory factor to the risk of certain cancers. However, there are few published studies in nationally representative populations of women on specific, obesity-related cancers, such as pancreatic and kidney cancer, in relation to prior weight change.

This study aimed to assess the respective roles of BMI and weight change on total and site-specific risk of obesity-related cancer in a large cohort of Norwegian women. It used self-reported questionnaire data from the Norwegian Women and Cancer study, linking this to information on cancer diagnosis from the Cancer Registry of Norway. These questionnaires were completed over the period 1991-2011 and asked about the weight, height, reproductive history, use of medication, and lifestyle of participants. The team then analysed this to determine BMI, weight change over a 6-year period, and the subsequent risk of obesity-related cancers defined as cancer of the breast (postmenopausal), colon-rectum, endometrium, ovary, pancreas, kidney, gallbladder, gastric cardia, liver, oesophagus (adenocarcinoma), meningioma, thyroid, and multiple myeloma.

The BMI analysis sample group consisted of 137,205 women and within this group there were 9,963 obesity-related cancer cases during an average follow-up time of 18 years. Obesity was found to increase the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer by 20%, and kidney cancer by 95%. Endometrial cancer saw the biggest risk increase in women with obesity who were more than twice as likely to contract the disease as women with normal weight.

The weight change sample group contained 82,001 women who were diagnosed with 5,329 obesity-related cancers during an average follow-up time of 13.7 years. High weight gain (defined as an increase of 10kg or more in 6 years) was associated with a 36% increased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, a 40% increased risk of endometrial cancer. The strongest association was with pancreatic cancer, which saw a 91% increased risk. This is despite the fact that no link was found between BMI and the likelihood of developing pancreatic cancer.

The authors conclude that: "maintaining stable weight in middle adulthood, irrespective of baseline BMI status, as well as avoiding excess body weight are both of importance for prevention of several obesity-related cancers in women". They also note that their finding of "increased risk of pancreatic cancer by moderate and high weight gain is novel".
-end-


European Association for the Study of Obesity

Related Obesity Articles:

Changing the debate around obesity
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) needs to do more to address the ingrained stigma and discrimination faced by people with obesity, says a leading health psychologist.
Study links longer exposure to obesity and earlier development of obesity to increased risk of type 2 diabetes
Cumulative exposure to obesity could be at least as important as actually being obese in terms of risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D), concludes new research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]).
How much do obesity and addictions overlap?
A large analysis of personality studies has found that people with obesity behave somewhat like people with addictions to alcohol or drugs.
Should obesity be recognized as a disease?
With obesity now affecting almost a third (29%) of the population in England, and expected to rise to 35% by 2030, should we now recognize it as a disease?
Is obesity associated with risk of pediatric MS?
A single-center study of 453 children in Germany with multiple sclerosis (MS) investigated the association of obesity with pediatric MS risk and with the response of first-line therapy in children with MS.
Women with obesity prior to conception are more likely to have children with obesity
A systematic review and meta-analysis identified significantly increased odds of child obesity when mothers have obesity before conception, according to a study published June 11, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine by Nicola Heslehurst of Newcastle University in the UK, and colleagues.
Obesity medicine association announces major updates to its adult obesity algorithm
The Obesity Medicine Association (OMA) announced the immediate availability of the 2019 OMA Adult Obesity Algorithm, with new information for clinicians including the relationship between Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Dyslipidemia, and Cancer; information on investigational Anti-Obesity Pharmacotherapy; treatments for Lipodystrophy; and Pharmacokinetics and Obesity.
Systematic review shows risk of a child developing overweight or obesity is more than trebled by maternal obesity prior to pregnancy
New research presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Glasgow, Scotland (April 28- May 1) reveals that the risk of a child becoming overweight or obese is more than trebled by maternal obesity prior to getting pregnant.
Eating later in the day may be associated with obesity
Eating later in the day may contribute to weight gain, according to a new study to be presented Saturday at ENDO 2019, the Endocrine Society's annual meeting in New Orleans, La.
How obesity affects vitamin D metabolism
A new Journal of Bone and Mineral Research study confirms that vitamin D supplementation is less effective in the presence of obesity, and it uncovers a biological mechanism to explain this observation.
More Obesity News and Obesity Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Making Amends
What makes a true apology? What does it mean to make amends for past mistakes? This hour, TED speakers explore how repairing the wrongs of the past is the first step toward healing for the future. Guests include historian and preservationist Brent Leggs, law professor Martha Minow, librarian Dawn Wacek, and playwright V (formerly Eve Ensler).
Now Playing: Science for the People

#566 Is Your Gut Leaking?
This week we're busting the human gut wide open with Dr. Alessio Fasano from the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital. Join host Anika Hazra for our discussion separating fact from fiction on the controversial topic of leaky gut syndrome. We cover everything from what causes a leaky gut to interpreting the results of a gut microbiome test! Related links: Center for Celiac Research and Treatment website and their YouTube channel
Now Playing: Radiolab

The Flag and the Fury
How do you actually make change in the world? For 126 years, Mississippi has had the Confederate battle flag on their state flag, and they were the last state in the nation where that emblem remained "officially" flying.  A few days ago, that flag came down. A few days before that, it coming down would have seemed impossible. We dive into the story behind this de-flagging: a journey involving a clash of histories, designs, families, and even cheerleading. This show is a collaboration with OSM Audio. Kiese Laymon's memoir Heavy is here. And the Hospitality Flag webpage is here.