Cancer Risk Increased With Recent Weight Loss

Cancer diagnoses more common among those whose weight loss was classified as unintentional
Cancer Risk Increased With Recent Weight Loss
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FRIDAY, Jan. 26, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with recent weight loss have a significantly increased risk for cancer during the subsequent 12 months, according to a study published online in the Jan. 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Qiao-Li Wang, M.D., Ph.D., from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues examined the rates of subsequent cancer diagnoses over 12 months among health professionals with weight loss during the prior two years compared with those without recent weight loss. The prospective cohort analysis consisted of women aged 40 years and older from the Nurses' Health Study and men aged 40 years and older from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.

The researchers identified 15,809 incident cancer cases during 1.64 million person-years of follow-up among 157,474 participants (incident rate, 964 cases/100,000 person-years). During the 12 months after reported weight change, there were 1,362 and 869 cancer cases/100,000 person-years among those with recent weight loss of greater than 10 percent of body weight and those without recent weight loss, respectively (between-group difference, 493 cases/100,000 person-years). Among participants characterized with low intentionality for weight loss, there were 2,687 and 1,220 cancer cases/100,000 person-years among those with weight loss of greater than 10.0 percent of body weight and those without recent weight loss, respectively (between-group difference, 1,467 cases/100,000 person-years). Among participants with recent weight loss, cancer of the upper gastrointestinal tract was particularly common.

"Although cancer risk was higher in participants with recent weight loss, many individual cancer types, including breast, genital, urinary, brain, and melanoma, were not associated with recent weight loss," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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