New Research Links Young Adult Obesity with Increased Risk & Early Onset Pancreatic Cancer

by: cancercompass

New research suggests obesity in early adulthood increases pancreatic cancer risk, while overweight patients of an older age with this difficult disease have lower survival rates, reports Reuters.

Being obese or overweight at young age had a "stronger association with pancreatic cancer risk than did subsequent weight gain at an older age," M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Researchers, Houston told Reuters Health. Another major study finding, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association for June 24, was people obese or overweight between the ages of 20 to 49 years had an earlier onset of pancreatic cancer by 2 to 6 years. Overall, the risk for overweight people began to level off at age 40 and became statistically irrelevant after age 50.

Obesity at an older age was, however, connected to reduced survival rates from pancreatic cancer. Specifically, a person with normal body weight a year before pancreatic diagnosis had an average survival of 18 months, while overweight and obese patients saw reduced survival times that averaged around 13 months.

Researchers analyzed 841 patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma and a control group of 754 healthy people without cancer who matched the age, race and gender of the cancer patients.