If you are less than 50-years-old but have excess body weight, then you are more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, a new study has warned.
The findings indicate that excess weight could increase risk of death from pancreatic cancer more than previously believed, said lead author Eric J. Jacobs from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta.
“Pancreatic cancer rates have been steadily increasing since the early 2000s. We’ve been puzzled by that increase because smoking — a major risk factor for pancreatic cancer — is declining,” Jacobs said.
According to the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database, pancreatic cancer is an extremely deadly type of cancer, with a five-year survival rate of just 8.5 per cent.
For the study, presented at the AACR Annual Meeting 2019 from March 29 to April 3, the team examined data from 963,317 US adults with no history of cancer.
All participants reported their weight and height just once, at the start of the study, when some were as young as 30 while others were in their 70s or 80s. The team used this information to calculate body mass index (BMI).
The study found that during the follow-up period, 8,354 participants died of pancreatic cancer.
As expected, higher BMI was linked with increased risk of dying of pancreatic cancer, but this increase in risk was largest for BMI assessed at earlier ages, the researcher said.
They noted that while the study only had information on deaths from pancreatic cancer, the disease is nearly always fatal, so results are expected to be similar to those for new diagnoses of pancreatic cancer.
“Our results strongly suggest that to stop and eventually reverse recent increases in pancreatic cancer rates, we will need to do better in preventing excess weight gain in children and younger adults…,” Jacobs said.
China coronavirus toll reaches 908, 40,171 infected
Beijing: The death toll due to the novel coronavirus in China on Monday increased to 908, with 40,171 confirmed cases, the country’s National Health Commission said.
Until midnight, 6,484 severe cases had been recorded while 3,281 people, who had recovered from the illness, had been discharged, Efe news reported citing the Commission as saying.
As of now, 399,487 patients in close contact with the infected have been traced, out of which 187,518 are under observation, according to the Chinese agency.
Among those under observation, 23,589 were suspected of having contracted the virus.
The latest figures indicate an increase of 97 deaths over the previous day – when 632 people were also discharged – and 3,062 new infections.
Of the 97 deaths, 91 were recorded in Hubei province, whose capital is Wuhan – the epicentre of the outbreak -, and which has been under de facto quarantine since January 23.
It total, 2,618 of the 3,062 new coronavirus cases have been detected in Hubei.
Until now, all deaths but one – which occurred in the Philippines – have been in China, which accounts for about 99 per cent of those infected, although about 20 countries have confirmed cases.
The virus has already claimed more lives than the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003.
Despite both the novel coronavirus and SARS originating in China, the geographical distribution of deaths is radically different.
SARS emerged in the southern Guangzhou province, while the coronavirus appears to have originated from a seafood market in the central-eastern city of Wuhan.
With SARS, 349 people died in mainland China, 299 in Hong Kong, 43 in Canada, 37 in Taiwan and 33 in Singapore, to mention only the most affected places, according to the figures from WHO.
Coronavirus has spread to at least 27 other countries and territories.