The number of people worldwide who are overweight or obese is growing every year to an epidemic level. Childhood weight struggles can last a lifetime, sometimes due to poor habits and other times due to certain diseases or conditions. Having extra weight can cause a myriad of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, decreased immunity and even stroke. But a new study has found another scary risk of obesity, at least in women – researchers in the UK found that obesity increases cancer risk by about 40 percent in females.
The UK researchers analyzed data from 1,000 obese women and found that 274 were diagnosed with cancer, compared to 194 out of 1,000 women of normal weight. The list of cancers related to obesity is quite long, and can include at least seven different types including gallbladder, pancreatic, kidney, and post-menopausal breast cancer. Right now in the United States, over 35 percent of adults over the age of 20 are obese and 69 percent are overweight or obese.
The UK study correlates with another recent study published in the journal The Lancet. In this study, researchers looked at rates of cancer that are already linked to obesity. The study team found that in one year, 3.6 percent of new cancer cases were linked to obesity and the rate was even higher in women. Scientists believe that hormones may play into understanding why women are at a higher risk of obesity-related cancer than men. This can be especially true of cancers in the endocrine system.
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