Health Care

Study indicates diabetes, obesity behind 800000 cancers worldwide

Study indicates diabetes, obesity behind 800000 cancers worldwide”

Among the 12 types of cancer examined, the proportion of cases chalked up to these factors was as high as a third, researchers reported in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, a leading medical journal.

Here's a seriously good reason to watch your diet: Excess weight and diabetes cause almost 6 percent of cancers worldwide, a new study reports.

Noting that the number of cancers attributable to diabetes and a high BMI is likely to increase dramatically by 2025, the authors concluded that these "projections are particularly alarming in view of the high, and growing, economic cost of cancers and metabolic diseases, and highlight the importance of integrated control measures to tackle common modifiable risk factors".

"Our study shows that diabetes - either on its own or combined with being overweight - is responsible for hundreds of thousands of cancer cases each year across the world", he added.

Twice as many cancers were caused by being overweight than by all types of diabetes.

But that's expected to rocket to 30 per cent in women and 20 per cent in men by 2035 if rates of diabetes and obesity continue to rise.

Boffins at Imperial College London analysed data on 12 types of cancer, body mass index and diabetes from 175 countries in 2012.

Pearson-Stuttard projected that with these two risk factors becoming increasingly widespread, the proportion of attributable cancers is set to grow further.

Both high BMI and diabetes are risk factors for various types of cancer, potentially due to biological changes caused by diabetes and high BMI - such as high insulin, high sugar levels, chronic inflammation, and dysregulated sex hormones such as oestrogen - having adverse effects on the body. This reflects geographical differences in the prevalence of diabetes and obesity as well as incidence of cancers affected by them.

A person with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight.

With these cancer risk factors increasing, efforts should focus on prevention and screening, said study lead author Dr. Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard of Imperial College London.

For men, obesity and diabetes accounted for more than 40 percent of liver cancers, while for women they were responsible for a third of uterine cancers, and almost as many cases of breast cancer.

Most of the cancer cases attributable to diabetes and high BMI occurred in high-income western countries (38.2 per cent) and the second largest proportion occurring in east and southeast Asian countries (24.1 per cent).

The increases of diabetes from 1980 to 2002 led to a quarter of all 2012 cases, whereas excessive weight is responsible for another 30 percent.

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