New Study Links Cancer to Body Weight

The Physicians Committee

New Study Links Cancer to Body Weight

November 9, 2007

A new study published in the British Medical Journal links cancer to body weight. Researchers examined the effect of body mass index (BMI) on both cancer incidence and death among 1.2 million women from the Million Women study. Participants ages 50 to 64 were followed for five years for cancer incidence and seven years for cancer mortality. It was estimated that of the 45,037 cases of cancer, 5 percent were attributed to obesity or overweight. An increasing BMI was associated with a significant increase in risk for 10 out of 17 specific types of cancer. Similarly, risk for death also increased with BMI for most types of cancer.

Reeves GK, Pirie K, Beral V, Green J, et al. Cancer incidence and mortality in relation to body mass index in the Million Women Study: cohort study. BMJ. 2007; published online November 6, 2007.

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