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Obesity can cause cancer, knees damage: Experts
Published on 15 Feb. 2011 1:13 AM IST
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Body fat, known to trigger problems related to diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, is also a potential cause of different types of cancer, experts believe.
“Excess fat leads to a high body mass index (BMI - the percentage of fat in proportion to weight and height of a person), which increases the risk of colon cancer by 55 percent,” said Atul Peters, director of the Institute of Minimal Access, Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery at the Primus Super Speciality Hospital. “Women with high BMI are susceptible to developing uterus or breast cancer by over 50 percent,” Peters told IANS.
In both the sexes, being obese increases the risk of cancer of the esophagus, kidney, gallbladder and pancreas, another expert said.
“Fat is considered to be a source of hormones such as estrogens. This hormone is responsible for endometrial and breast cancer,” said P.K. Julka, professor at the Clinical Oncology department of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
“Excess fat may also lead to out-of-control cell multiplication, which is basically triggered through high insulin-like growth factors. The balance of the immune system is disturbed,” he added. Peters said weight control can reduce cancer-related deaths by nearly 90,000 per year.
Irreparable damage to knees
Being morbidly obese could permanently damage your knees, says a new study. The investigation included a group of morbidly obese patients with knee osteoarthritis who were evaluated before and after bariatric surgery or surgically-assisted weight loss. Patients lost an average of 51 pounds or 23 kg in one year. One year after surgery, knee pain and function improved significantly.
“People felt there was nothing they could do to mitigate the debilitating effects of knee arthritis, but now we know that surgically-assisted weight loss is a way that folks can help themselves,” says Michael S. Sridhar, co-investigator and resident at Emory University.
“However, there is probably some element of irreparable damage from being morbidly obese that may constrain the improvement in knee pain despite significant weight loss,” he added, according to an Emory statement.
Another study found that complication rates for total joint replacement (TJR) patients may increase for “super-obese” patients. It compared the outcomes after TJR in 137 “super-obese” patients versus 63 non-obese patients.
Ran Schwarzkopf, co-investigator and chief resident of New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases, and his research team found that the number of overall complications were significantly higher for the “super-obese” compared to non-obese.
These studies were presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).

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