Using data from GP records in the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD), health researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine conducted the largest study of its kind into the link between obesity and cancer.
Overweight and obesity linked to 10 common cancers and over 12,000 cases every year in the UK
Researchers at the London School of Hygiene &Tropical Medicine working with the Farr Institute of Health Informatics estimate that over 12,000 cases of these 10 cancers each year are attributable to being overweight or obese, and calculate that if average BMI in the population continues to increase, there could be over 3500 extra cancers every year as a result.
Using data from general practitioner records in the UK’s Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD), the researchers identified 5.24 million individuals aged 16 and older who were cancer-free and had been followed for an average of 7.5 years. The risk of developing 22 of the most common cancers, which represent 90% of the cancers diagnosed in the UK, was measured according to BMI** after adjusting for individual factors such as age, sex, smoking status, and socioeconomic status. A total of 166,955 people developed one of the 22 cancers studied over the follow-up period. BMI was associated with 17 out of the 22 specific types of cancer examined.