Pancreatic cancer is now the fourth-leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, and the nation’s growing girth among all age groups could be playing a role.

A study examined 841 patients with pancreatic cancer and 754 healthy people of similar age, race and gender. It found that people ages 14 to 39 who were overweight (a body mass index of 25 to 29.9) or people ages 20 to 49 who were obese (a BMI of 30 or greater) had an increased risk of pancreatic cancer. In the second age group, being overweight or obese was also linked to an earlier onset of pancreatic cancer by two to six years.

The risk of developing the disease appeared to level off for those who gained excess weight in their 40s. And after age 50, disease risk and weight were not related. However, being overweight at an older age was found to be associated with a lower survival rate for people with the disease.

Read the rest of the article as reported by the Los Angeles Times

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