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Body Mass Index Affects Pancreatic Cancer Risks

-- Rick Ansorge

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

TUESDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- Younger adults who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer and at an earlier age, and older adults who are obese and develop pancreatic cancer have reduced overall survival, according to a study published in the June 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Donghui Li, Ph.D., of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues conducted a case-control study of 841 patients and 754 healthy matched controls.

The researchers found overweight during ages 14 to 39 and obesity during ages 20 to 49 were strongly associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer (odds ratios, 1.67 and 2.58, respectively), and that overweight or obesity during ages 20 to 49 were associated with a two-to-six-year earlier diagnosis of pancreatic cancer than normal weight. They also found that patients who were obese during ages 30 to 79 had reduced overall survival compared to patients of normal weight (hazard ratio, 1.86).

"The biological bases for how overweight and obesity contribute to younger age of diagnosis, increased risk for pancreatic cancer, and poorer survival in pancreatic cancer require further investigation," state the authors of an accompanying editorial. "Understanding these associations will provide much needed clues for targeting potential preventive and therapeutic strategies for this extremely aggressive and resistant type of cancer."

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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