Thin obesity tied to increased risk of pancreatic cancer

(Reuters Health) – Thin obesity is linked to many health problems later in life, and a great Israeli study suggests increased risk for deadly pancreatic cancer is one of them.

Researchers pursue nearly 2 million men and women for more than 20 years. Compared to normal sex users as teenagers, people who have obesity have more than three times the penchantal packet cancer in adulthood, and obesity teen girls have more than four times the risk.

While obesity has long been considered a risk factor for pancreatic cancer, the strength of the union and the underlying causes for the connection are less clear. The current study does not show obesity or tumors, or that life scarcely impacts the development of cancer decades later, but it adds to the long list of potential health benefits of avoiding excess weight during childhood and adolescence, said. Chanan Meidan of the Mayiyai Haeshuua Medical Center in Bnei Brak, Israel.

"Such a time difference between the assumed cause and later effect is very difficult to investigate," Meydan, author of an editor with the study, said by email.

"It must be stressed, though, that fighting obesity is justified in many populations for other reasons, notably for preventing and treating cardiovascular disease," added Meydan. "So regardless of cancer, recommended weight control in obese populations is important."

Globally, nearly one in five children and adolescents are overweight or obese, according to the World Health Organization.

Children and teens are considered obese when their body mass index (BMI), a weight ratio, is higher than that of 95 percent of other youths of the same age and sex. They react overweight with a BMI in the 85 to 95 percentile range.

To examine the connection between obesity and pancreatic cancer, the researchers analyzed the balance of data for nearly 1,100,000 people and more than 707,000 women who had composite physical exams at age 16-19.

Subsequently, when half the students in the study were later for at least 23 years, researchers looked at the national cancer registry data to see if one of them had developed pancreatic tumors.

During this period, 423 men and 128 women were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

People have an elevated risk of pancreatic cancer, even when their weight in adolescence is not high enough for them to be considered obese, the study found. Just being overused as a teenager is associated with a 97 percent higher risk of pancreatic cancer later in life. And, while the high end of a normal scale, with a BMI in the 75 to 85 percent, is associated with a 49 percent higher risk of pancreatic cancer.

Women have a higher risk of pancreatic cancer only when they are abused than teens, and not when they were excessive.

One limitation of these studies is that researchers found data on weight changes over time that could affect the risk of developing the tumors.

Yet, according to their results, excess weight in youth could explain about 11 percent of pancreatic cancer cases in the population, lead study author Dr. Zohar Levi of Rabin Medical Center and Tel Aviv University and colleagues write in the journal Cancer.

It is possible that inflammation caused by excess weight may later contribute to tumor development, the study authors do. Levi did not respond to requests for commentary.

"We need (more) studies on the subject to further elucidate how counter-obesity intervention can affect the risk of malignancy," Meydan said. Still, "Weight control is justified for other reasons, apart from malignancy prevention."

SOURCE: and Cancer, online November 12, 2018.

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