Wake Up Call For India: Study Links Diabetes, High BMI to Cancer
A new Lancet study has found that diabetes and high BMI (above 25 kg/m2) were the cause of 5.6 percent of the new cancer cases in 2012.
Published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, the study found that of the new cases in 18 kinds of cancer, 5,44,300 were attributable to high BMI, equivalent to 3.9 percent of all cancers — nearly double that of the 2,80,100 cases attributable to diabetes (2 percent).
The study analysed 7,92,600 cases reported from 175 countries around the world.
These figures are alarming for India already the Diabetes capital of the world and is battling the double burden of obesity and malnutrition.
Cancers linked to diabetes and high BMI included:
- Liver Cancer: 24.5 percent of the 7.66 lakh new cases
- Endometrial Cancer: 38.4 percent of the 3.17 lakh new cases
As the prevalence of these cancer risk factors increases, clinical and public health efforts should focus on identifying preventive and screening measures for populations and for individual patients. It is important that effective food policies are implemented.Dr Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard, Lead author of the Lancet study, Imperial College London
Alarm Bells in India
India has over 60 million diabetics in the country, that is projected to at least double by 2030.
The number of overweight people in India has almost doubled in the past decade according a recent Lancet report. The study looked at BMI (body mass index) trends in 200 countries from 1975-2016. It found that worldwide the number of obese girls in age group 5-19 has risen from 5 million to 50 million in 40 years, and boys from 6 million to 74 million.
In a recent conversation with Fit, top doctors pointed out that Indian’s are most at risk because of the thrifty genes most of them are born with. The thrifty genes helped survival in the past when food supply was low, but with plenty food and reduced physical work, they make us more susceptible to lifestyle diseases.
India’s Cancer Burden
According to a study published in 2016 in the Journal of Global Oncology, every day, cancer has the last word in the lives of 50 children across India.
By the year 2025, the number of cancer cases in both kids and adults in India will multiply five times, with a higher spike in women than men, according to the World Health Organisation.
The new study projected prevalence of diabetes and high BMI for 2025 compared with the prevalence in 2002, the researchers estimate that the proportion of related cancers will grow by more than 30 per cent in women and 20 per cent in men on an average.
It’s a crisis India cannot afford.