Obesity Linked to Esophageal Cancer
Obesity May Make Cancer of the Esophagus More Likely
Oct. 10, 2007 -- Obesity's health risks may include a risk of developing
That's according to a new Australian study published in tomorrow's advance
online edition of the journal Gut.
The study included nearly 800 patients with esophageal cancer and 1,580
adults without esophageal cancer.
The researchers included David Whiteman, MBBS, PhD, of Australia's Brisbane
They tracked BMI (body mass index, which compares height to weight) among
people with and without esophageal cancer.
Compared with people with a normal BMI, esophageal cancer was up to six
times as common among very obese people (BMI of at least 40) and about twice as
likely among obese people (BMI of 30 or more).
The people who were most likely to have esophageal cancer were severely
obese people with a history of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
But obesity was linked to esophageal cancer even in people who had never had
Obesity and esophageal cancer were more strongly related in men than women
and in people younger than 50 than in older adults.
The study doesn't prove that obesity directly causes esophageal cancer. But
that possibility deserves further study, according to Whiteman and