Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Obese females' large waists 'raise pancreatic cancer risk'

Obese women who carry most of their excess weight around their stomach are 70 per cent more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, a new study claims.

Before now, the most well-established risk factors for pancreatic cancer were smoking and chronic pancreatitis but scientists behind today's research say it strengthens the evidence linking obesity to pancreatic cancer risk in women.

The team at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden followed more than 138,000 postmenopausal women in America for over seven years to investigate the effects of obesity on pancreatic cancer as a part of the Women's Health Initiative.

251 women in the study developed pancreatic cancer. Of these, 78 women had the highest waist-to-hip ratios.

This is 70 per cent more than the 34 women with the lowest waist-to-hip ratios who went on to develop the disease - after adjusting for other potential risk factors including age and smoking status.

Previous research has suggested that diabetes and abnormal insulin levels may play a role in pancreatic cancer and the authors of today's study argue that obesity could increase the risk of the cancer by affecting insulin levels.

Commenting on the study, Dr Lesley Walker, director of cancer information at Cancer Research UK, said: "Pancreatic cancer is associated with particularly poor survival, so it's crucial that we learn more about how to prevent the disease.

"About a quarter of all cancer deaths are caused by unhealthy diets and obesity and it's important that people are aware of this risk."

1 comment:

Moses Gomes said...

Hi Dr. John,

Well I never thought Obese women were at such risk on Pancreatic cancer. While doing Google on Pancreatic cancer had found a new website launched by Tata Hospital doctors. I think you should visit the website.



Moses Gomes