New Study Links Weight Loss to Lower Cancer Risk in People with Obesity

The study underscores the significant relationship between weight loss and decreased cancer risk among individuals with obesity.
The results showed a notable reduction in the risk of obesity-related cancers with weight loss.  (Representational image: Pixabay)
The results showed a notable reduction in the risk of obesity-related cancers with weight loss. (Representational image: Pixabay)

A new study reveals that real-world weight loss is connected with a lower risk of obesity-related cancers. The research, conducted using electronic health records from the Cleveland Clinic, was presented as a late-breaking poster at the 84th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association® (ADA) in Orlando, FL.

The study underscores the significant relationship between weight loss and decreased cancer risk among individuals with obesity. Obesity, known to affect 78% of people with diabetes, is linked to higher risks of at least 13 types of cancer. These cancers are due to excess estrogen and elevated insulin levels and include breast, kidney, ovary, liver, and pancreatic cancer.

A total of 172 patients were included in the study, with 100,143 in the control group and 5,329 cases. The median body mass index (BMI) at the time of data collection was 34.2 for cases and 34.5 for controls, both classified as obese according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

 A total of 172 patients were included in the study, with 100,143 in the control group and 5,329 cases. (Representational image: Pixabay)
A total of 172 patients were included in the study, with 100,143 in the control group and 5,329 cases. (Representational image: Pixabay)

Researchers used logistic regression models to assess the link between BMI changes and cancer risk over three, five, and ten-year intervals prior to cancer diagnosis. The study focused on 13 obesity-related cancers as the primary endpoint and 16 other types of cancer, including melanoma, urinary tract cancers, and cancers of the respiratory and intrathoracic organs, as the secondary endpoint.

The results showed a notable reduction in the risk of obesity-related cancers with weight loss. The risk reduction was evident at three years (OR 0.99, 95% CI [0.984, 0.996]) and five years (OR 0.989, 95% CI [0.983-0.995]), and for other types of cancer across all time intervals (ORs <1, P < 0.001). Specific cancers with reduced risk included renal cell carcinoma at three years, multiple myeloma at ten years, and endometrial cancer at three and five years.

Dr. Kenda Alkwatli, MD, a clinical fellow at Cleveland Clinic and the study's author, emphasized the importance of treating obesity as a chronic disease. "This study reinforces how crucial it is to treat obesity as a chronic disease," Dr. Alkwatli said. "We are hopeful that these results can help us better understand how we can use weight loss to address comorbidities, including cancer, in patients with obesity."

The study highlights the need for more research to determine how cancer risk is influenced by the amount, rate, and method of weight loss. Future studies will aim to test whether specific anti-obesity medications can reduce cancer risk.

References:

  1. https://diabetes.org/sites/default/files/2024-06/ADA2024_WeightLossCancer%20Risk_%20PressRelease6.14.24FINAL.pdf

(Input from various sources)

(Rehash/ Susmita Bhandary/MSM)

The results showed a notable reduction in the risk of obesity-related cancers with weight loss.  (Representational image: Pixabay)
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