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Half-a-million cancer cases linked to obesity

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Problem: Obesity levels are rising in the West. Picture posed

Problem: Obesity levels are rising in the West. Picture posed

Problem: Obesity levels are rising in the West. Picture posed

Obesity and excess weight cause almost half-a-million new cancer cases each year worldwide - and almost two-thirds occur in the developed countries of North America and Europe, a study has shown.

Cancers linked to obesity account for 3.6pc of all those diagnosed globally.

Scientists analysed data on cancer incidence and mortality from 184 countries and estimated the fraction associated with excess bodyweight in 2012.

They found that a quarter of the obesity-related cancers could be attributed to rising average body mass index (BMI) in the global population since 1982.

America contributed by far the largest number, making up almost a quarter of all new cancers linked to excess weight.

Within Europe, the burden was largest in countries of the former Soviet Union. Eastern bloc countries accounted for more than a third of all the European cases.

The results, published in The Lancet Oncology journal, showed that obesity-related cancer was a greater problem for women than men.

hnews@herald.ie


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