HealthDay News — Overweight young adults may have a significantly increased risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EA) and gastric cardia adenocarcinoma (GCA) if they become obese later in life, according to a study published online February 14 in the British Journal of Cancer.

The research indicated that individuals who were overweight in their 20s had a 60 to 80% increased risk of developing EA and GCA, compared with those who maintained a normal weight throughout their life. And those who then gained more than 40 pounds by age 50 doubled their risk of EA and moderately increased their risk for GCA. 

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However, the researchers found that it was those individuals who progressed from overweight at age 20 to obese at age 50 who had the highest increase in risk for EA (hazard ratio, 2.90) and GCA (hazard ratio, 4.07).

“Being overweight in early adulthood and weight gain later in life were each associated with increased risks of EA and GCA,” the authors write. “This underscores the potential of weight control programs for reducing EA and GCA risk.”

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