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Obesity increases risk of getting any cancer by 12%

Rising rates of obesity will result in more people dying early, study warns

Being overweight or obese increases the risk of getting any type of cancer by 12%, a study has found.

This includes breast cancer, kidney cancer, gallbladder cancer, leukaemia, brain cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, according to the researchers from Aarhus University Hospital.

The study authors warned that rising rates of obesity and severe obesity will increase the rates of cancers across the board and result in more people dying prematurely. 

For the study, published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, the team looked at cancer data in Denmark from 1977 to 2016. 

They found 20,706 cancers among 313,321 adults who were clinically diagnosed as being overweight or obese.

By comparison, there were 18,480 cancers diagnosed among the general Danish population over the same time period – an increase of 12%.

The heightened risk was the same for cancers previously identified as obesity-related, such as kidney cancer and pancreatic cancer, and for blood and neurological cancers.

“Given the increasing obesity epidemic, our findings have contributed much needed recent data on the overall burden of cancer among patients hospitalised for overweight and obesity,” the authors wrote.