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Obesity linked to pancreatic cancer

4:53pm, September 19, 2001

Pancreatic cancer strikes obese and sedentary people more frequently than it does thin individuals and those who exercise regularly, a new study finds. The work suggests that some cases of this deadly disease might be avoided by lifestyle changes.

Researchers identified 350 pancreatic cancer patients among a pool of more than 150,000 people who had filled out questionnaires in the 1970s that provided health and lifestyle data.

The researchers had compiled the original data before any participants developed cancer. The scientists later compared the 350 people who eventually developed pancreatic cancer with study participants of similar age and lifestyle who didn't.

The data show that although the overall risk of pancreatic cancer is small, obese people faced a 72 percent greater chance of developing pancreatic cancer than did trim people. The team, led by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, accounted for smoking and other lifestyle choices

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