Cancer due to Overweight/Obesity

The increasing risk of cancer due to overweight and obesity has been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in recent MMWR report (CB Steele et al. MMWR 2017; 66: 1052-8Vital Signs: Trends in Incidence of Cancers Associated with Overweight and Obesity — United States, 2005–2014

Key points:

  • Overweight and obesity are associated with increased risk of at least 13 different types of cancer.
  • Overweight- and obesity-related cancers accounted for 40% of all cancers diagnosed in 2014.
  • The incidence of overweight- and obesity-related cancers (excluding colorectal cancer) increased significantly among persons aged 20–74 years during 2005–2014, mirroring increases of obesity observed since 1960.
  • The findings emphasize the importance of intensifying nationwide efforts to prevent and treat overweight and obesity.

My take: While the medical risks related to overweight/obesity generally are attributed to worsened cardiovascular disease, this study adds information regarding the increased risks of some types of cancer as well.

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