Belly Fat Increases Pancreatic Cancer Risk

Excess belly fat can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a new study, which shows that obese women are more prone to the deadly disease.

A new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine indicates that women who carry excess weight around their stomach face a higher risk of pancreatic cancer.

The study, conducted at New York University School of Medicine, analyzed 2,170 people with pancreatic cancer and 2,209 people without the disease. Researchers found that for all participants, there was a correlation between an increased body mass index (BMI) and an increased risk for pancreatic cancer. Patients with a BMI in the top fourth had a 33 percent higher chance of having pancreatic cancer.

When researchers reviewed the overall weight categories, overweight women had a 31 percent higher risk of pancreatic cancer when compared to women of a normal weight, and obese women had a 61 percent greater risk of developing the disease.

Women who had a large waist in relation to their hips also had a higher risk. According to the study findings, women with the biggest waist to hip ratio had an increased pancreatic cancer risk of 87 percent.

“These findings, along with those from previous studies, strongly support the role of obesity in pancreatic cancer development,” wrote lead researcher Dr. Alan A. Arslan.