Profile image
By Natural Society
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views

Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:

Obesity and Liver Cancer Link Now Supported by New WHO Study

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 5:43
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

Natural Society

People who have a high body mass index (BMI), excess weight circumference, and Type 2 diabetes have a greater risk of developing liver cancer, a large new study finds. [1]

One expert in the United Kingdom (U.K.) is even calling for a shift in attitude so that obesity is seen as a red flag for having an increased risk of liver cancer.

The Study

In the study, BMI and waist measurement were used as 2 markers for excess belly fat. Type 2 diabetes was also used as a marker, due to its close association with obesity.

Researchers compared the rates of liver cancer, which have more than tripled in the U.K. since the 1970’s, against 1.57 million adults who were cancer-free when they enrolled in 14 different studies.

Liver cancer rates were compared among patients with and without obesity and diabetes to determine how much of a role these factors play in developing the disease.

Researchers controlled for age, sex, alcohol use, smoking, and race. [2]

An Increased Risk

The team found that for every 5-point increase in BMI, there was a 38% increase in the risk of liver cancer among men and a 25% increase among women. [1]

For every 2-inch increase in waist circumference, the risk of liver cancer increased by 8% – even after controlling for BMI.

In all, they found that being overweight increased the relative risk for liver cancer by between 21% and 142% as BMI increased. [2]

Participants who also had Type 2 diabetes were 2.61 times more likely to be diagnosed with liver cancer. The risk also increased in higher BMI. [3]

No association between BMI and cancer was found if the participant had hepatitis, a cause of liver cancer so strong that it overwhelms every other cause. However, among those without hepatitis, the increased risk was significant. [2]

Association Does Not Equal Causation

Peter Campbell, a director at the American Cancer Society, which participated in the research, says:

“We found that each of these three factors was associated, robustly, with liver cancer risk. All three relate to metabolic dysfunction. This adds substantial support to liver cancer being on the list of obesity-associated cancers.” [3]

Like the U.K., the incidence of liver cancer has tripled in the United States, where it is the 6th most common type of cancer.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), obesity sparks about 500,000 cancer cases annually.

In May, a review of more than 1,000 studies by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer showed that being overweight or obese increased the risk for at least 13 types of cancer. Those 13 types are:

  • Esophageal
  • Colorectal
  • Breast
  • Uterine
  • Kidney
  • Gallbladder
  • Pancreatic
  • Thyroid
  • Ovarian
  • Brain
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Blood
  • Stomach

Researchers said that the only risk factor that seemed to be more significant was smoking.

Obesity can cause metabolic and hormonal abnormalities, as well as chronic inflammation, which are all contributors to cancer.


[1] WebMD

[2] The New York Times

[2] Daily Mail

Storable Food


We encourage you to Share our Reports, Analyses, Breaking News and Videos. Simply Click your Favorite Social Media Button and Share.

Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories



Top Global


Top Alternative




Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.