Additional evidence has come to light linking obesity to liver cancer. The study found that a larger waistline, high body mass index, and type 2 diabetes increase a person’s risk for liver cancer.
Coauthor Peter Campbell said, “We found that each of these three factors was associated, robustly, with liver cancer risk.”
Rates of liver cancer have roughly tripled in the U.S. since the mid-1970s. Prognosis for this type of cancer is not very promising for patients.
The researchers examined data on 1.57 million adults from 14 American studies to uncover an association between obesity and liver cancer. None of the participants had cancer at the start of the study.
Over the span of the studies, 6.5 percent of participants were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and over 2,100 of them developed liver cancer.
The researchers found that those participants who had type 2 diabetes had 2.6 times higher risk of developing liver cancer. The findings still held true after adjusting for other risk factors for liver cancer, including drinking alcohol.
Furthermore, it was found that the higher a person’s body mass index was the higher their risk of developing liver cancer was. More specifically, the risk of liver cancer rose eight percent for every two inches of growth on a person’s waistline.
Campbell added, “This adds substantial support to liver cancer being on the list of obesity-associated cancers. This is yet another reason to maintain a body weight in the ‘normal’ range for your height.”
It follows from the study then that maintaining a healthy weight and body mass index, along with reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, is important for lowering one’s risk of liver cancer.