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A new study has found that people with worsening metabolic syndrome face a higher risk of developing all types of cancer, with kidney cancer being the most common. Metabolic syndrome is defined by the presence of three or more markers such as central obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglycerides, and low HDL cholesterol. More than one-third of adults in the U.S. have metabolic syndrome. It is recommended by doctors to undergo regular screening for cancer and metabolic syndrome, in addition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of developing cancer over time.

The study analyzed nearly 45,000 adults in China with an average age of 49 years and found that those with elevated and increasing metabolic syndrome had a higher risk of developing any type of cancer over a median follow-up period of more than 9 years. Participants with a low-stable trajectory of metabolic syndrome had a significantly lower risk of developing cancer. The risk of developing kidney cancer was more than 4 times higher in those with an elevated and increasing metabolic syndrome trajectory. The findings suggest that early intervention is crucial to limit the risk of developing health conditions such as cancer later in life.

Dr. Anton Bilchik, a surgical oncologist at Providence Saint John’s Cancer Institute in California, highlighted the unique insights provided by the study into the long-term progression of metabolic syndrome. He noted that the study evaluated the trajectory of metabolic syndrome over a four-year period, showing that the combination of inflammation and metabolic syndrome carries an even higher risk of developing common cancers like breast, colon, endometrial, and liver cancer. The research contributes to understanding the biological mechanisms linking metabolic syndrome to cancer and may lead to targeted treatments or preventive strategies in the future.

A previous study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the rates of metabolic syndrome in the U.S. have been increasing over the years. Between 1988 and 1994, slightly more than 25% of adults in the U.S. had metabolic syndrome. By 2007 to 2012, the number had risen to 34% of U.S. adults. Dr. Cheng-Han Chen, an interventional cardiologist at MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center in California, emphasized the importance of screening for metabolic syndrome and taking proactive steps to address its components in order to reduce the risk of developing cancer in the future.

Maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, regular exercise, avoiding smoking and alcohol, protecting oneself from the sun, and following recommended cancer screening guidelines are some ways to reduce the risk of cancer. The study underscores the importance of early intervention and control of the components of metabolic syndrome through lifestyle changes and monitoring measures. It provides valuable information on how metabolic syndrome contributes to an increased risk of cancer over time and highlights the need for further research into targeted treatments and preventive strategies based on these findings.

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