Obesity During Early Adulthood Increases Risk for Esophageal Cancer

The Physicians Committee

Obesity During Early Adulthood Increases Risk for Esophageal Cancer

March 17, 2017

Being overweight or obese as a young adult increases your risk for esophageal cancer, according to a review published in the British Journal of Cancer. Researchers tracked BMI and cancer rates for 409,796 participants in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study and Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Those who were overweight at age 20 increased their risk for both esophageal adenocarcinoma and gastric cardia adenocarcinoma by as much as 70 percent, compared with those of the same age with lower BMIs. Data also showed an increased risk if overweight participants became obese later in life. Possible mechanisms include additional abdominal pressure from weight-gain that may lead to other conditions associated with cancer risk.

Petrick JL, Kelly SP, Liao LM, Freedman ND, Graubard BI, Cook MB. Body weight trajectories and risk of oesophageal and gastric cardia adenocarcinomas: a pooled analysis of NIH-AARP and PLCO Studies. Br J Cancer. Published online February 14, 2017.

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