A new study has warned that rising levels of obesity will result in more people developing cancer and dying prematurely.
According to researchers from Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, being overweight or obese increases the risk of getting any type of cancer by 12%. This includes leukaemia, breast cancer, kidney cancer, gallbladder cancer, brain cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
For the study, the results of which are published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, the researchers looked at cancer data in Denmark from 1977 to 2016. They discovered 20,706 cases of cancer among 313,321 adults who were clinically diagnosed as being overweight or obese. By comparison, the general Danish population had 18,480 cancers diagnosed during the same time period, highlighting an increase of 12% among the overweight and obese individuals.
Interestingly, the heightened risk was the same for cancers previously identified as obesity-related, such as kidney cancer and pancreatic cancer, and for blood and neurological cancers, suggesting that being overweight or obese could actually have more of an impact than previously thought.
Writing about the findings of their study, the researchers said: “Given the increasing obesity epidemic, our findings have contributed much needed recent data on the overall burden of cancer among patients hospitalised for overweight and obesity.”
Obesity is a growing problem in the UK
According to the Health Survey for England 2018, published in December 2019, the majority of adults in England were overweight or obese; 67% of men and 60% of women. This includes 26% of men and 29% of women who were obese and 2% of men and 4% of women who were morbidly obese.
Furthermore, the same report also reveals that 28% of children aged 2 to 15 were overweight in 2018, including 15% who were obese.
Meanwhile, a report published in The Lancet, projects that there could be 11 million more obese adults in the UK by 2030, potentially resulting in an additional 6–8.5 million cases of diabetes, 5.7–7.3 million cases of heart disease and stroke, and 492,000–669,000 additional cases of cancer.
Are you prepared for a critical illness?
It’s not a question that many people like to think about, but it’s one that needs to be asked and considered nonetheless. With Cancer Research UK saying that one in two people in the UK born after 1960 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime, the chances of you or someone you love developing cancer are significant.
Critical Illness Insurance is a protection product that is designed to help you cope financially with the profoundly distressing and disruptive consequences of developing a critical illness like cancer. It is there to help ease the financial stress associated with such an event, enabling you to focus on your treatment and recovery.
If Critical Illness Insurance is something you’ve considered in the past but never pursued further, make 2020 the year you find out more. Contact us today and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have and provide bespoke advice that’s right for your situation.
Stephen joined Premier Choice in 2006 as a Group Risk consultant and became Head of Group Risk in June 2013. In December 2017, Stephen also took over responsibility for the Protection division within Premier Choice and works to grow this in the same way he has the Group Risk division. Protection is a specialist area and fits well with his experience and expertise in the group risk market.