THURSDAY, Feb. 23, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Metabolic obesity phenotype is important when assessing obesity-related cancer risk, according to a study published online Jan. 17 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Ming Sun, from Lund University in Sweden, and colleagues investigated body mass index (normal weight, overweight, obesity) jointly and in interaction with metabolic health status and the association with obesity-related cancer risk (colon, rectal, pancreas, endometrial, liver, gallbladder, and renal cell cancer). The analysis included 23,630 cancer cases among 797,193 European individuals.

The researchers found that metabolically unhealthy obesity was associated with an increased relative risk for any obesity-related cancer compared with metabolically healthy normal weight. The highest risk estimates were seen for endometrial, liver, and renal cell cancer (hazard ratio range, 2.55 to 3.00). In men, metabolically healthy obesity showed a higher relative risk for any obesity-related cancer and colon cancer. Relative risks for endometrial, renal cell, liver, and gallbladder cancer were weaker. There were additive, positive interactions observed between body mass index and metabolic health status on obesity-related and rectal cancer among men and on endometrial cancer.

“In general, metabolic aberrations further increased the obesity-induced cancer risk, suggesting that obesity and metabolic aberrations are useful targets for prevention,” the authors write.

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