High BMI and diabetes linked to cancer: Lancet Report

As many as 5.6 per cent of the new cancer cases in 2012 were caused due to diabetes and high BMI(above 25 kg/m2), according to a new Lancet study. The study analyzed 7, 92, 600 cases reported across 175 countries. It revealed that of the latest cases in 18 types of cancers, 5,44,300 attributable to high BMI, equaled 3.9 per cent of all cancers — almost double of the 2,80,100 cases accredited to diabetes (2 per cent).

 The findings are crucial for India- home to 62 million diabetics, and the global diabetes capital. The obesity cut-off for BMI has been slashed from the global 25 kg/m2 to 22 kg/m2, due to the proneness of Indians to obesity. Based on data collected by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence, India reported 10,57,204 cases of cancer in 2012.During 2016-17, approximately  14.5 lakh cancer cases were registered by the National Cancer Registry.

 Former dean and professor of oncology at AIIMS, Dr P K Julka said, “Obesity is known to be a major risk factor for several cancers, including that of the breast. Obese people are also more prone to cancers of the uterus and gall bladder.’’

However, he stated that there were no Indian studies investigating whether low BMI cut-off for Indians, applicable for cardiovascular risks, hold true for cancer.

 Globally, 422 million adults have diabetes and 2.01 billion adults are obese. High BMI and diabetes are risk factors as high insulin and sugar levels, chronic inflammation, and deregulated sex hormones like oestrogen cause adverse effects.

 Percentage of cancers linked to diabetes and high BMI is expected to rise globally. Researchers approximate that proportion of related cancers will increase, on an average, more than 30 per cent in women and 20 per cent in men by 2025.

Sources: Indian Express, The Quint

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