(HealthDay News) — An intensive lifestyle intervention (ILI) may reduce the incidence of obesity-related mortality among individuals with overweight or obesity and type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online Aug. 24 in Obesity.

Hsin-Chieh Yeh, Ph.D., from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues examined data from the Look AHEAD trial, involving adults with overweight or obesity and type 2 diabetes, to examine cancer incidence, obesity-related cancer incidence, and cancer mortality for participants randomly assigned to ILI designed for weight loss compared with a diabetes support and education (DSE) comparison group. A total of 4,859 participants without a cancer diagnosis at baseline were included in the analysis.

The researchers found that 684 participants (332 in the ILI group and 352 in the DSE group) were diagnosed with cancer after a median follow-up of 11 years. In the ILI and DSE groups, the incidence rates of obesity-related cancers were 6.1 and 7.3 per 1,000 person-years, respectively, with a hazard ratio of 0.84 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.68 to 1.04). No significant between-group differences were seen in total cancer incidence (hazard ratio, 0.93; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.80 to 1.08), incidence of non-obesity-related cancers (hazard ratio, 1.02; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.83 to 1.27), or total cancer mortality (hazard ratio, 0.92; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.68 to 1.25).

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“Although the result was not statistically significant, this finding provided evidence that patients with obesity can reduce their cancer risk through weight loss,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to WW, formerly Weight Watchers.

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