Washington, Feb 26 : A new study has linked esophageal cancer to carbohydrates and obesity, by showing that the increase in the incidence of the disease in recent years mirrors the steep rise in carbohydrate intake and obesity during the same period of time.
Researchers at the Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Health System in Cleveland suggested that the rise in recent decades of U.S. esophageal cancer, from 300,000 cases in 1973 to 2.1 million in 2001 at age-adjusted rates, reflects the rise in carbohydrate intake and obesity.
The study illustrates what may be a public heath concern as the composition of U.S. diets changes and total carbohydrate and refined carbohydrate intakes increase. besity is a risk factor for many types of cancer, and a diet that includes a high percentage of calories from refined carbohydrates is a common contributor to obesity. arbohydrates were also unique in that no other studied nutrients were found to correlate with esophageal cancer rates, the researchers said.
The causes of esophageal cancer remain largely unknown. Despite recent advances in treatment, esophageal cancer has a poor prognosis. The five-year rate of survival for esophageal cancer remains below 20 percent and is the eighth-leading cause of cancer related death in American men.
"If we can reverse the trends in refined carbohydrate intake and obesity in the U.S., we may be able to reduce the incidence of esophageal cancer," said Dr. Li Li, senior author of the study.
The study appears in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.