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Burden of Obesity-Associated Cancers Shifted to Younger Age Groups

Large study shows particular increase in the 50- to 64-year-old age group from 2000 to 2016

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THURSDAY, Aug. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- From 2000 to 2016, there was a shift of the obesity-associated cancer (OAC) burden to younger age groups, according to a study published online Aug. 14 in JAMA Network Open.

Siran M. Koroukian, Ph.D., from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, and colleagues examined trends in time for age distribution of OACs and non-OACs. Differences by ethnicity and sex were examined using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database (2,665,574 incident OACs [70.3 percent women] and 3,448,126 incident non-OACs [32.0 percent women] from 2000 to 2016).

The researchers found that the percentage of incident cases increased in the 50- to 64-year-old age group for both arms, ranging from a 25.3 percent increase in the number of OACs in this age group for non-Hispanic white women to a 197.8 percent increase in Hispanic men. In the 20- to 49-year-old age group, the change in the number of OACs ranged from a 5.9 percent drop in non-Hispanic white women to a 94.6 percent increase among Hispanic women. For those ≥65 years, the increases ranged from 2.5 percent in non-Hispanic white women to 102.0 percent in Hispanic women. There was a greater annual increase in the odds for OACs for individuals in the 50- to 64-year-old age group but a decrease for individuals in the group aged 65 years or older compared with non-OACs. Compared with non-OACs, the annual increase in OACs was 0.5 percent higher in non-Hispanic black men and 1.3 percent higher in non-Hispanic white men.

"The findings have important public health implications and suggest that interventions to reduce obesity and to implement individualized screening programs are needed," the authors write.

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