-- Robert Preidt
MONDAY, Oct. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight teens are at
increased for developing esophageal cancer later in life, new
Esophageal cancer occurs when a tumor develops in the tube that
connects the throat with the stomach.
In addition, social and economic status, and education levels
appear to be factors in the development of stomach (or "gastric")
cancer, the study indicated.
The study included 1 million male teens in Israel who underwent
a general health checkup at an average age of 17 between 1967 and
2005. The participants were followed for between 30 months and
nearly 40 years, with an average follow-up of nearly 19 years.
Overweight teens had a more than two-fold increased risk of
developing esophageal cancer later in life, while poor teens had
more than twice the risk of developing intestinal-type stomach
cancer, the study authors found. Teens with nine years or less of
education had a nearly doubled increased risk of developing this
type of cancer.
The risk of stomach cancer was three times higher in teens born
in Asia and more than two times higher in those born in former
Soviet Union countries, according to the study published in the
Oct. 14 online edition of the journal
"Adolescents who are overweight and obese are prone to esophageal cancer, probably due to reflux that they have throughout their life. Also, a lower socioeconomic position as a child has a lot of impact upon incidence of gastric cancer as an adult," study author Dr. Zohar Levi, of the Rabin Medical Center in Israel, said in a journal news release.
"We look at obesity as dangerous from cardiovascular aspects at ages 40 and over, but here we can see that it has effects much earlier," he added.
While the study found links between child obesity, socioeconomic
status, and education levels in male teens with later cancer
diagnosis, it did not prove cause-and-effect.
It is unclear whether losing weight later in life or achieving a
higher social or economic status might reduce the increased risk of
developing these types of cancer, Levi said.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about
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