Thursday, December 04, 2014
Researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer found that a high body mass index (BMI) was the reason for nearly half a million worldwide cases of cancer per year.
Published in Lancet Oncology, the population study looked at cancer incidence and BMI index in adults aged 20 years or older. They assumed a 10-year lag period between high BMI and the occurrence of cancer. They also tested the impact of various model assumptions.
The study found that a high BMI was the reason for 481,000 new cases of cancer in 2012, mostly in North America and Europe. These cases represented 3.6% of the new cancer cases in 2012. They found that the risk was higher for women, as 5.4% of the obesity-related cancer cases were reported in women as compared to 1.9% in men.
“The burden of attributable cases of cancer was higher in countries with high and very high human development indices. Corpus uteri, postmenopausal breast, and colon cancers accounted for 63.6% of cancers attributable to high BMI. A quarter (118,000) of the cancer cases related to high BMI in 2012 could be attributed to the increase in BMI since 1982,” said the researchers.
According to UN research, about 35% of the adult population globally is classified as overweight (BMI ≥25kg/m2), including 12% of the people who are classified as obese (BMI ≥30kg/m2). The researchers believe that the relationship between obesity and cancer is causal and hence it is important to curb the incidence of obesity to reduce the future burden of cancer.
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