A new article published in Neurology suggests that being overweight or obese may be linked to an increased risk of developing meningioma, a type of brain tumor.
The meta-analysis conducted by researchers from the University of Regensburg, Germany, studied existing data on body mass index (BMI), physical activity, and meningioma, and glioma. Study authors gathered data from 12 studies on BMI and 6 on physical activity, which included 2,982 cases of meningioma and 3,057 cases of glioma.
The analysis showed that overweight subjects (BMI 25–29.9) were 21% more likely to develop a meningioma and obese subjects (BMI ≥30) were 54% more likely to develop one compared to people of normal weight. Those with the highest level of physical activity showed a 27% reduced risk of meningioma compared to those with the lowest level of activity; study authors noted only a modest association. Researchers found no association between excess weight and glioma.
The increased risk may be due to excess weight that is associated with excess estrogen production, which promote the development of meningioma. Excess weight is also related to high insulin levels, which could contribute to the growth of meningioma.
The analysis does not establish a causal relationship between excess weight, lack of physical activity, and brain tumors but just an association, study authors added.
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