Obesity Associated With Increased Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

A study published in Cancer found that individuals who were obese during adolescence had an approximately four-fold increased risk of pancreatic cancer later in life; those who were overweight had a twofold increased risk. 

The nationwide Israeli study analyzed data on adolescents. A minimal risk was observed in individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 19.8 kg/m2, while significantly elevated risks were seen at a BMI >23.0 kg/m2. 

The nationwide Israeli study analyzed data from two large Israeli databases: one included Jewish adolescents 16 to 19 years old who underwent compulsory examination in late adolescence to determine fitness for military service between 1967 and 2002, and the other was the Israeli National Cancer Registry database, from which only verified reports of pancreatic adenocarcinomas were included. 

Among the patient cohort of 1,794,570, 54,224 (3%) were obese and 140,467 (7.8%) were overweight. After a median follow-up of 23.3 years, there were 551 cases of pancreatic cancer, and the median age at diagnosis was 51 years. 

Compared with normal weight, obesity was associated with an increased risk of cancer among both men (hazard ratio [HR], 3.67; CI, 2.52-5.34) and women (HR, 4.07; 95% CI, 1.78-9.29). Among men, com-pared with low-normal BMI, high-normal BMI and overweight were also associated with a higher risk for cancer. The estimated population-attributable fraction because of overweight and obesity was 10.9% (95% CI, 6.1-15.6). 

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Source: Cancer