A recent research titled "Adolescent weight and height are predictors of specific Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma subtypes among a cohort of 2,352,988, 16-19 year olds" and published in CANCER, a journal of the American Cancer Society links adolescent height and weight with increased risks of developing Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL) – a type of cancer of the lymphatic system.
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The study was lead by Dr. Merav Leiba of Sheba Medical Center in Israel after observing that obesity may have a contributory link to the global rise in cases of NHL. The research team wanted to know if adolescent weight and height has anything to do with risks of developing NHL later in life.
About 2,352,988 teens aged 16-19 years were analyzed between 1967-2011, and subsequently linked to the Israel National Cancer Registry which included 4,021 cases of NHL recorded between 1967 and 2012.
"Obesity and overweight during adolescence are risk factors for future Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma," said Dr. Leiba. "It is important to be aware that overweight and obesity are not risk factors only for diabetes and cardiovascular disease but also for lymphomas."
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The researchers found a 25% increased risk of NHL in the later life of people who experienced sustained bursts of weight and height during adolescence, further finding that short folks have 25% lesser risks of the disease while taller individuals have 28% higher risks. The researchers are also investigating the angle of whether excess childhood eating influences growth factors and height and inflammatory molecules that tend toward NHL.