the obesity epidemic can contribute to an increase of some cancers millennials in the United States a new study suggests.

The study found that rates of some cancers related to obesity – including colorectal, renal and pancreatic cancer – increased among adults aged 25 to 49 between 1995 and 2014; with more pronounced increases in the youngest age groups. Rates of some of these same cancers also increased in older adults, but increases were much smaller, the researchers said.

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What's more, Generation Y women were about twice as likely to develop some obesity-related cancers as baby boomers of the same age.[[[[10 Do's and Don'ts to Reduce Your Cancer Risk]

The researchers found that the risk of developing these cancers in young adults was always lower than that of older adults.

The findings could serve as a harbinger of a future increase in cancer rates as the millennial age ages and could "potentially [halt] or [reverse] progress made in reduce cancer mortality In recent decades, Dr. Ahmedin Jemal, lead author of the study and Scientific Director of Surveillance and Health Services Research at the American Cancer Society, said declaration. "Cancer trends in young adults often serve as a wake-up call for the future burden of disease in older adults, among whom cancer occurs most often."

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The study was published today (February 4) in the journal The Lancet Public Health, to coincide with World Cancer Day.

Cancer related to obesity

It is known that excess body fat increases the risk of certain cancers. In 2016, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (a branch of the World Health Organization) released a report linking obesity to a higher risk of 12 cancers: colorectal, esophagus, gallbladder, gastric cardia (a type of cancer of the stomach), kidneys, liver and bile ducts, multiple myeloma (a type of bone marrow cancer), pancreatic and thyroid cancers; and, in women, endometrial, breast cancer and ovarian.

In the new study, researchers analyzed information on cancer rates from 25 cancer registries in the United States (covering approximately two thirds of the US population) diagnosed between 1995 and 2014. They examined the rates of 30 cancers. 12 obesity-associated cancers and 18 other cancers unrelated to obesity, such as lung cancers and skin cancer.

The researchers found that the rates of six cancers related to obesity – colorectal, endometrial, gallbladder, renal, pancreatic and thyroid – were increasing in adults aged 25 to 49 during the period of time. ;study. Although the rates of most of these cancers also increased in the elderly, the increases were much smaller.

For example, pancreatic cancer rates have increased on average by less than 1% per year among 40- to 84-year-olds; but rates increased 2.5% among those aged 30 to 34; and 4.3% per year among 25 to 29 year olds.[[[[5 things women should know about ovarian cancer]

In contrast to obesity-related cancers, the rates of most of the 18 non-obesity-related cancers did not increase in young adults during the period of the study.

"Younger generations experience early and lasting exposure to excess fat and obesity-related health problems that can increase the risk of cancer," said Jemal.

Attention needed

It is important to keep in mind that although rates of some obesity-related cancers increase more rapidly in young adults, the overall rate of these cancers is lower in young adults than in young adults. older adults. For example, the rate of pancreatic cancer between 2010 and 2014 was about 2 cases per 100,000 people per year among 25- to 49-year-olds, compared to about 37 per 100,000 people per year in the 50 to 84 age group. .

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In addition, the researchers found that their study revealed only an association between obesity and cancer, and can not prove that obesity is the cause of these cancers. Nor can this prove that the obesity epidemic is responsible for increasing the rate of cancer in young adults.

Although researchers have hypothesized that the increase in obesity over the last few decades could have played a role in the increase in obesity-related cancers observed in the study, further studies are needed to determine the exact reason for which these cancers increase in young adults, they said. .

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Originally published on Science live.