Recent findings suggest that type 2 diabetes, waist size, and a high BMI might increase liver cancer risks. A group of scientists from the American Cancer Society and the United States National Cancer Institute has a conducted an extensive research to discover the main factors influencing the development of liver cancer.
The team collected data from around 1.57 million participants involved in 14 United States studies. First, they answered a set of questions about their average tobacco use, alcohol intake, weight, height, and other possible elements related to the risks of cancer.
It is worth mentioning that no participant had cancer when the study started. During the research, 6.5 percent of the participants were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, whereas 2162 developed liver cancer later.
Then, researchers compared liver cancer rates from obese patients with those from patients who had an average weight to establish the specific risks. It turned out that for every 5kg per square meter body mass index increase, there was a 25 and 38 percent growth in liver cancer risk in women and men.
More precisely, every five centimeters increase in waistline accounted for an 8 percent additional risk. Also, when scientists calculated the BMI, race, smoking habits, and alcohol intake, they found out that type 2 diabetes participants were almost three times more likely to develop liver cancer.
Researchers underlined that BMI, smoking, and alcohol intake are all related to metabolic dysfunction, so they influence the development of this disease. These findings are crucial as they support the efforts of the public health officials to reduce obesity among the American population.
According to Katherine McGlynn, a National Cancer Institute scientist, ‘from a public health perspective, these results are critical because obesity and diabetes, unfortunately, are common conditions in the population.’
She further adds that until now, most people believed that liver cancer risks were related only to hepatitis B or C viruses, but it turns out that such factors are less important because they are less common compared with type 2 diabetes, obesity, alcohol intake, and smoking.
Based on the reports, around 86 million Americans have prediabetes, and many of them are at least overweight if not obese. Worse, many people are still smoking while the alcohol excess has a become a common issue across the US. That is why public health efforts must continue to raise awareness about liver cancer risks.
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