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Obesity raises risk of myeloid leukaemia

Greater body size increases the risk of myeloid leukaemia, a type of blood cancer.

Obesity raises risk of myeloid leukaemia

Greater body size increases the risk of myeloid leukaemia, a type of blood cancer. Researchers from the Cancer Council Victoria in Melbourne found that this is yet another association with obesity. Hence, controlling the epidemic of obesity might have a beneficial effect on the incidence of myeloid leukemia. Researchers studied the data from a cohort of 40,909 adults who were followed for an average of 8.4 years. The incidence of myeloid leukemia was roughly five times higher among overweight individuals than among individuals with normal or low weight. Specifically, the risk of myeloid leukemia increased 83 percent for every 10-kilogram increase in fat-free mass, and 35 percent per 10-centimeter increase in waist circumference. There were no significant relationships between body size or composition and other types of leukaemia or lymphoma. The findings suggest that maintaining a healthy weight reduces the risk of several types of cancer, including myeloid leukaemia. The researchers offer several possible explanations for the link between increasing body girth and myeloid leukaemia. For example, obesity may alter immune function. Nutritional alterations, such as fasting and acute nutritional deprivation, occur frequently in obese persons and can both increase and decrease immunocompetence. Moreover, central adiposity - belly fat has been shown to increase the risk of several common cancers. This may be related to chronic high levels of insulin and related hormones, which stimulates cell growth and inhibits cell death.
Journal of the National Cancer Institute,
August 2005
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