Big Health Study Carries Warning for Millennials

Cancers related to obesity are on the rise among younger generation
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2019 7:42 AM CST
Updated Feb 9, 2019 11:20 AM CST
Big Health Study Carries Warning for Millennials

A new study carries a stark warning for millennials: They face a growing risk of cancers related to obesity. Specifically, the study in the Lancet sees potential trouble with colorectal, endometrial, gallbladder, kidney, and pancreatic cancers, as well as multiple myeloma, a bone marrow cancer, reports CNN. As Live Science points out, older people still get such cancers in significantly higher numbers, but researchers were troubled by a notable increase in cases among those ages 25 to 34. The numbers suggest that millennials have roughly twice the risk of developing these cancers as baby boomers did at the same age. Unless things change over the long run, the numbers could reverse a decades-long decline in cancer mortality, researchers say in a press release.

"The change in cancer trends among young adults is often considered as a bellwether for future disease burden," study author Hyuna Sung tells Axios. For the study, researchers looked at cancer diagnoses among people aged 25 to 84 between 1995 and 2014. For almost all non-obesity related cancers—such as lung cancer—numbers were down for the younger patients. But for cancers with a link to obesity, the numbers were up. Researchers blamed modern diets high in sugar for contributing to the problem. Still, Live Science points to this stat as a way to keep things in perspective: the rate of pancreatic cancer is about 2 cases per 100,000 people per year for those ages 25 to 49, while it's 37 cases per 100,000 people per year for those ages 50 to 84. (Read more obesity stories.)

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