Nav: Home

Being overweight may increase risk of type of brain tumor

September 16, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS - Being overweight or obese may be tied to an increased risk of a type of brain tumor called meningioma, according to a new meta-analysis published in the September 16, 2015, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Meningiomas occur at a rate of about five to eight cases per 100,000 people per year. The five-year survival rate for meningioma is 63 percent.

"This is an important finding since there are few known risk factors for meningioma and the ones we do know about are not things a person can change," said meta-analysis author Gundula Behrens, PhD, of the University of Regensburg in Regensburg, Germany. "Given the high prevalence of obesity and the unfavorable prognosis for this type of tumor, these findings may be relevant for strategies aimed at reducing the risk of meningioma."

The meta-analysis looked at all of the available research on body mass index (BMI), physical activity and the brain tumors meningioma and glioma, which are the most common primary brain tumors in adults. A total of 12 studies on body mass index and six on physical activity were analyzed, involving 2,982 meningioma cases and 3,057 glioma cases.

The analysis found that compared to people with a normal weight, overweight people were 21 percent more likely to develop a meningioma and obese people were 54 percent more likely to develop one. Overweight was defined has having a BMI of 25 to 29.9; obese was considered a BMI of 30 or higher.

No relationship was found between excess weight and glioma, which occurs at about the same rate as meningioma but has a worse prognosis.

Having a high level of physical activity was modestly associated with a decreased risk of meningioma. Those with the highest amount of physical activity were 27 percent less likely to have a meningioma than those with the lowest amount of activity.

Behrens said several biological processes could potentially link excess weight and increased risk of meningioma. For example, excess weight is associated with excess production of estrogen, and estrogens promote the development of meningioma. Also, excess weight is linked to high levels of insulin, which could promote meningioma growth.

Behrens noted that the analysis does not prove that excess weight and lack of physical activity causes the brain tumors; it shows the association. "With physical activity, it's possible that meningiomas that had not been diagnosed yet caused people to reduce their physical activity at the time it was measured," she said. "As a reminder, while there was an association in the study between weight and this type of tumor, it should be noted that tumors are rare."
-end-
The study was supported by the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Regensburg, Germany.

To learn more about brain tumors, please visit http://www.aan.com/patients.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 28,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy.

Media Contacts:
Rachel Seroka, rseroka@aan.com, (612) 928-6129
Michelle Uher, muher@aan.com, (612) 928-6120

American Academy of Neurology

Related Physical Activity Articles:

Physical activity may attenuate menopause-associated atherogenic changes
Leisure-time physical activity is associated with a healthier blood lipid profile in menopausal women, but it doesn't seem to entirely offset the unfavorable lipid profile changes associated with the menopausal transition.
Are US adults meeting physical activity guidelines?
The proportion of US adults adhering to the 'Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans' from the US Department of Health and Human Services didn't significantly improve between 2007 and 2016 but time spent sitting increased.
Children from disadvantaged backgrounds do less vigorous physical activity
Children from disadvantaged backgrounds and certain ethnic minority backgrounds, including from Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds, have lower levels of vigorous physical activity, according to researchers at the University of Cambridge.
Light, physical activity reduces brain aging
Incremental physical activity, even at light intensity, is associated with larger brain volume and healthy brain aging.
Decline in physical activity often starts as early as age 7
Overall physical activity starts to decline already around the age of school entry.
More Physical Activity News and Physical Activity Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...