(HealthDay News) — Hospital-diagnosed overweight and obesity is associated with an increased risk for several common cancers, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

Sigrid Bjerge Gribsholt, M.D., Ph.D., from Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues examined the overall cancer incidence and specific site-related cancer incidences among patients with hospital-diagnosed overweight and obesity versus the general Danish population.

The researchers found 20,706 cancers among 313,321 patients diagnosed with overweight and obesity (median age, 43 years; median follow-up, 6.7 years) versus 18,480 cancers expected (standardized incidence ratio [SIR], 1.12; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.11 to 1.14). The SIR associated with overweight and obesity was even higher among patients with comorbidities, including type 2 diabetes (SIR, 1.18; 95 percent CI, 1.13 to 1.23) and alcoholism-related diseases (SIR, 1.62; 95 percent CI, 1.45 to 1.82). The SIR was 1.31 (95 percent CI, 1.28 to 1.34) for cancers identified as obesity-related, including pancreatic (SIR, 1.38; 95 percent CI, 1.27 to 1.49) and postmenopausal breast cancer (SIR, 1.14; 95 percent CI, 1.09 to 1.19). Additionally, elevated SIRs were seen for obesity/overweight status and hematological (SIR, 1.24; 95 percent CI, 1.18 to 1.29) and neurological cancers (SIR, 1.19; 95 percent CI, 1.11 to 1.27). In contrast, SIRs were not significant for immune-related cancer (1.01; 95 percent CI, 0.97 to 1.05), malignant melanoma (0.88; 95 percent CI, 0.82 to 0.95), and hormone-related cancers other than postmenopausal breast cancer (0.88; 95 percent CI, 0.85 to 0.92).

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“Concomitant comorbidities, including diabetes and alcoholism-related diseases, further increased the cancer risk,” the authors write.

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