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Thin men greater risk of cancer

Posted - Aug. 21, 2004 at 4:20 p.m.



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TOKYO, Aug 21, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A study by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare found thin Japanese men are almost 30 percent more likely to contract cancer.

The 11-year study tracked 90,000 men and women from 1990 to 2001 and examined the rate of cancer outbreaks compared to body mass indexes, while taking into account the subject's area of residence as well as other factors such as alcohol and tobacco consumption, the Mainichi Daily News reported Saturday.

Body mass indexes somewhere from 19 to 20.9 had a 14 percent greater incidence of cancer with men of BMI of 23 to 24.9, while those even thinner at a BMI of 14 to 18.9 were 29 percent more likely to contract cancer. At the opposite end, those with BMI of 30 to 39.9 were 22 percent more likely to get cancer.

BMI is calculated by dividing a person's weight in kilograms by the square of their height in centimeters. The World Health Organization calculates a BMI of less than 18.5 to be underweight.

The trend was not apparent in women -- underweight women retained roughly the same rates of cancer contraction than those of normal build.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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