In case you need more evidence that being overweight or obese can have serious effects on your health, then hopefully this new study will convince you. It links weight conditions to liver cancer and that type 2 diabetes may increase the risk of developing the disease.
According to one of the study’s co-author, Peter Campbell, being overweight, obese and having type 2 diabetes is strongly associated with liver cancer. Campbell works at the American Cancer Society as a strategic director of digestive system cancer research. The study managed to shed some light on why the liver cancer rates have almost tripled in the US since 1970.
The researchers analyzed the data of 1.57 million adults who participated in 14 studies across the US. They tried to reveal the link between obesity, type 2 diabetes and liver cancer. Not one of the many participants in the various studies were initially diagnosed with cancer. However, over time, 6.5 percent of total participants developed type 2 diabetes, which is strongly linked with obesity. By the end, over 2,100 participants developed liver cancer.
The next step of the study conducted by Campbell and his colleagues was to compare the cancer diagnosis of obese participants who had type 2 diabetes to those that were just obese. They found that people suffering from both obesity and type diabetes had a 2.6 higher chance of being diagnosed with liver cancer. The results of the study were published in the journal Cancer Research. They remained the same even after the researchers accounted for other cancer risk factors such as smoking, and drinking.
Another interesting discovery of the study was that a high body mass index (BMI) which is calculated based on height and weight, can also increase the chance of liver cancer. A two inches increase in waist size can lead to eight percent increased the risk of liver cancer.
The findings of the study support previous studies which also claimed a certain link between obesity, type 2 diabetes and cancer. However, no study has revealed a direct cause-effect relationship between these three diseases.
Although liver cancer can be caused by other factors such as hepatitis B or C, they are less common that obesity and diabetes. The study emphasized that around eight adults from 100,000 will develop cancer in the liver.
Image source: Flickr