Study: Obesity Increases Risk of Pancreatic Cancer Death Among African Americans

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Among the population as a whole, research shows a strong link between being obese and increased risk of pancreatic cancer. Now a large new analysis suggests that obesity increases the risk of African Americans dying from pancreatic cancer, a cancer that affects African Americans more than any other racial group.

The study was published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention.

African Americans are diagnosed with and die from pancreatic cancer more than any other racial group, according to the National Cancer Institute. Previous research focusing on obesity, African Americans and pancreatic cancer included only a few study that gave conflicting findings.

For this analysis researchers pooled data from seven studies, including almost 240,000 African Americans. The studies all had used self-reported information to calculate BMI, a standard measure of body fat.

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Overloaded on Nutrition Research? How to Find Clarity.

“Why didn’t they teach any of this in med school?” So began the question and answer session following my presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). My topic: “Information Overload! Helping Patients Distinguish Evidence-Based vs. Anecdotal Nutrition Strategies.”iStock_000005236823_Small

If you sometimes have a sense of information overload about what the research is saying when it comes to cancer prevention, heart disease and other areas of your health, you’re not alone.

Headlines regularly contradict each other about “must-include super foods”, rules about what to avoid, and suggestions that long-held nutrition mantras don’t make any difference after all. As it turns out, the health professionals at AACVPR made it clear that it’s not only their patients who are feeling information overload; they are, too.

In my presentation, we looked at common areas of confusion, going beyond the headlines to put studies within context of overall research.

•    Some observational population studies don’t show a difference in heart disease risk with higher saturated fat. That highlights the importance of looking at overall eating Continue reading