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Obesity, Metabolic Health, and Cancer Mortality

Obesity; ePub 2017 Nov 27; Akinyemiju, et al

People who are within normal weight range but metabolically unhealthy appear to be at increased risk of overall and obesity-related cancer mortality, according to a prospective study involving >22,500 individuals. Participants from the REGARDS trial were categorized as being normal weight, overweight, or obese. Investigators looked at cancer mortality risk during follow-up. Among the results:

  • Normal weight, metabolically unhealthy patients were 65% more likely to die from cancer than those who were metabolically healthy.
  • Overall mortality risk for normal weight, metabolically unhealthy was particularly strong for obesity-related cancers (>twice as likely as those metabolically healthy).
  • Overweight, metabolically healthy patients were 21% less likely to die from cancer, vs those with normal weight.


Akinyemiju T, Moore J, Pisu M, et al. A prospective study of obesity, metabolic health, and cancer mortality. [Published online ahead of print November 27, 2017]. Obesity. doi:10.1002/oby.22067.

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