Obesity may increase the risk of the meningioma brain tumor by more than 50 percent, according a study from the University of Regensburg in Germany.
For their study, researchers did a meta-analysis of 13 previous studies involving 6,000 people with brain tumors. The scientists focused on meningiomas and gliomas, the two most common types of brain tumors, which together account for 70 percent of cases among 120 types of brain tumors.
The results, published in the journal Neurology, found that overweight patients were 21 percent more likely to develop a meningioma tumor compared with those at a normal weight, but obese patients were 54 percent more likely to develop one. Increased weight was only associated with a higher risk of meningiomas, and not gliomas.
Meningiomas can be treated, and the five-year survival rate is about 65 percent. Gliomas tend to be more aggressive, with a five-year survival rate of about 10 percent.
The researchers speculate that several biological mechanisms related to obesity could account for the link to cancer, including increased estrogen, insulin, and pro-inflammatory cytokines.
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