A large-scale Europe-wide study comes to the conclusion that body shape also determines the risk of cancer and individual types of cancer. The scientists defined four phenotypes for this.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Germany. About every second person will suffer from it in the course of their life. Prevention and precaution are all the more important. And above all: knowledge about potential types of cancer and their risks.

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A new Europe-wide study can make a significant contribution. She breaks down the risk of cancer using four body shapes. The results were published in the British Journal of Cancer.

Specifically, the research team led by Dr. Anja Sedlmeier from the University of Regensburg from the six characteristics

derived four body shape phenotypes (see graphic). The data of 221,934 women and 118,218 men from nine European countries, including Germany, were evaluated. They were between 35 and 65 years old at the time of data collection (1990-2000). The observation period covered more than 15 years.

The four body shape phenotypes are associated with a total of 17 different types of cancer, as well as cancer in general. Specifically, the following risks apply to each.

First Body Shape (Obesity/Obesity)

The first phenotype describes people with excessive body fat (obesity). According to the study, they have an increased general risk of cancer, as well as a risk of the following ten types of cancer:

Second body shape (tall, low WHR)

The second phenotype describes taller people with a rather straight physique. They were found to have a slightly increased general cancer risk and a higher risk of

Initially, there was also an increased risk of thyroid cancer, which, however, did not stand up to a statistical review by the study authors.

Third body shape (tall, high WHR)

The third phenotype describes taller individuals with increased abdominal fat. They have an increased general risk of cancer and an increased risk of the following types of cancer:

Limitation: The risk of larynx, mouth and throat cancer does not apply to people who have never smoked.

Fourth body type (athletic but high BMI, high weight, low WHR)

The fourth body shape is rather rare, the researchers said. Although athletic, she is strong with a high BMI and body weight. However, with a low hip circumference and low WHR.

It has not been associated with an increased risk of cancer. Initially there was a risk of thyroid cancer, but this did not stand up to statistical analysis.

In the concluding words of the study, the researchers are satisfied: “Several completely new connections” have been identified that have so far remained undiscovered in previous studies. “The derived body shapes could reveal the underlying biological pathways and thus provide new insights into cancer development. This knowledge could help to develop cancer prevention strategies.”