Obesity-Related Cancer Incidence Increases in Young Adults

April 03, 2019 by Elisa Becze BA, ELS, Editor

A new study showed that incidence rates are increasing for 6 of the 12 obesity-related cancers in U.S. young adults and that, over time, the increases are occurring in progressively younger ages and successively younger generations. The findings were published in Lancet Public Health (https://doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(18)30267-6).

The researchers looked at 20 years of incidence data for 30 cancers from the Cancer in North America database, which covers 67% of the U.S. population. Incidence increased in a stepwise manner for 6 of the 12 obesity-related cancers (colorectal, endometrial, gallbladder, kidney, pancreatic, and multiple myeloma). In most of those cancers, the rates in millennials is about double that of baby boomers at the same age.

In comparison, incidence rates declined or stabilized for all but 2 of the 18 nonobesity-related cancers—including those connected to tobacco or infection.

The researchers called for healthcare providers and policymakers to introduce innovative strategies to address morbidity and premature mortality from obesity-related diseases such as cancer.

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