Sunday December 15, 2019

Study Shows Weight Loss Surgery Can Reduce Risk of Skin Cancer

Bariatric surgery, a weight loss operation, is associated with a 61 per cent decrease in the risk of developing malignant skin cancer, according to a study.

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Bariatric Surgery
representational image. Pixabay

Bariatric surgery, a weight loss operation, is associated with a 61 per cent decrease in the risk of developing malignant skin cancer, according to a study.

Melanoma is a deadly form of skin cancer, most closely associated with excessive sun exposure. Obesity is an established risk factor for cancer and some studies indicate that intentional weight loss sometimes reduces the risk.

However, evidence for a link between obesity, weight loss and malignant melanoma is limited.

The new findings showed that bariatric surgery led to a 42 per cent reduced risk of skin cancer in general compared to controls given usual obesity care.

The study “supports the idea that obesity is a melanoma risk factor and indicates that weight loss in individuals with obesity can reduce the risk of bariatric surgery that has increased steadily in many countries over several decades”, said lead author Magdalena Taube from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

Cancer word on newspaper
Cancer. Pixabay

The results were presented at the 2018 European Congress on Obesity in Vienna, Austria.

The protective effect of bariatric surgery on skin cancer was observed in a group of 2,007 obese participants who were then followed for a median of 18 years.

These were compared with a control group consisting of 2,040 individuals who matched with the participants who underwent surgery on sex, age, anthropometric measurements, cardiovascular risk factors, psychosocial variables and personality traits.

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To analyse malignant melanoma incidence, statistical tests were used to compare time to first melanoma cancer diagnosis between the surgery and control groups.

In additional analyses, risk ratios between the surgery and control groups were compared. (IANS)

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Obesity Can Lead to Brain Damage: Study

According to researchers, this pattern of damage correlated with some inflammatory markers, like leptin, a hormone made by fat cells that helps regulate energy and fat stores

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Brain
"Brain changes were found in obese adolescents related to regions responsible for control of appetite, emotions and cognitive functions," said study co-author Pamela Bertolazzi from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. Pixabay

While obesity is primarily associated with weight gain, a new study suggests it triggers inflammation in the nervous system that could damage important regions of the brain.

Developments in MRI, like diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), a technique that tracks the diffusion of water along the brain’s signal-carrying white matter tracts, have enabled researchers to study this damage directly.

“Brain changes were found in obese adolescents related to regions responsible for control of appetite, emotions and cognitive functions,” said study co-author Pamela Bertolazzi from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) data indicates the number of overweight or obese infants and young children increased from 32 million in 1990 to 41 million in 2016 globally.

For the study, researchers compared DTI results in 59 obese and 61 healthy adolescents, aged 12-16 years.

From DTI, the researchers derived a measure called fractional anisotropy (FA), which correlates with the condition of the brain’s white matter. A reduction in fractional anisotropy is indicative of increasing damage in the white matter.

Brain
While obesity is primarily associated with weight gain, a new study suggests it triggers inflammation in the nervous system that could damage important regions of the brain. Pixabay

The results showed reduction of FA values in the obese adolescents in regions located in the corpus callosum, a bundle of nerve fibre that connects the left and right hemispheres of the brain.

Decrease of fractional anisotropy was also found in the middle orbitofrontal gyrus, a brain region related to emotional control and the reward circuit. None of the brain regions in obese patients had increased fractional anisotropy.

According to researchers, this pattern of damage correlated with some inflammatory markers, like leptin, a hormone made by fat cells that helps regulate energy and fat stores.

In some obese people, the brain doesn’t respond to leptin, causing them to keep eating despite adequate or excessive fat stores. This condition, known as leptin resistance, makes the fat cells produce even more leptin.

Brain
The World Health Organisation (WHO) data indicates the number of overweight or obese infants and young children increased from 32 million in 1990 to 41 million in 2016 globally, having effect on Brain Health. Wikimedia Commons

Worsening condition of the white matter was also associated with levels of insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas that helps regulate blood sugar levels. Obese people often suffer from insulin resistance.

“Our maps showed a positive correlation between brain changes and hormones, such as leptin and insulin,” Bertolazzi said.

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“In the future, we would like to repeat brain MRI in these adolescents after multi-professional treatment for weight loss to assess if the brain changes are reversible,” she said. (IANS)