A recent study published in Nature Scientific Reports shows a correlation between BMI (body mass index) and WC (waist circumference) and the prevalence of thyroid cancer. The study, which included more than 11 million people showed that as weight increases, so does the likelihood of thyroid cancer. Likewise, as weight decreases, the risk of thyroid cancer also decreases. This study attempted to control for all other factors, including lifestyle factors. The participants of this study were all enrolled in a health program of the Korean government, which is why the sample size is so large. Like prior studies, this one confirmed the increase of thyroid cancer as patients’ BMI/WC rose. But unlike prior studies, this study found an even higher correlation in male participants than has been reported before. People with pre-existing hyper or hypothyroidism were excluded from this study.
In the United States, more than 50,000 people are diagnosed with thyroid cancer each year. The current statistics show that women are three times as likely to have the condition than men, although deaths resulting from the cancer are even between men and women. It is still unknown exactly why women are more susceptible to this form of cancer.
What is promising, however, is the suggestion from the research than weight loss back to a normal BMI is associated with a decrease in risk. The study does make note that BMI is not always the best indication for obesity as it does not distinguish fat from lean muscle, which is why waist circumference was also used as a data point in the test.
For more information on this study, or to read it in its entirety, you can find it by clicking here.