(HealthDay News) — Bariatric surgery is associated with a reduction in the risk for obesity-associated cancers, according to a study to be presented at the 2023 Digestive Disease Week, being held from May 6 to 9 in Chicago.

Vibhu Chittajallu, MD, from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and colleagues examined the protective effects of bariatric surgery for de novo cancer in a retrospective cohort study using a multi-institutional database including >107 million patients. To minimize the impact of preexisting cancers, assessment for de novo cancer diagnosis started one year after the index date (time of bariatric surgery for the study group or obesity diagnosis for the nonsurgical control group). A total of 60,285 patients were identified in the bariatric surgery group, and 1,570,440 patients were identified in the nonsurgical control group. After propensity score-matching, 55,789 patients were included in each group.

The researchers found that at 10 years, the cumulative incidence of obesity-associated de novo cancers was 4% and 8.9% in the bariatric surgery and control groups, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.482; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.459 to 0.507). Compared with nonsurgical controls, lower prevalence rates were seen in the bariatric surgery group for de novo breast cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, and endometrial cancer (hazard ratios [95 percent confidence intervals], 0.753 [0.678 to 0.836], 0.638 [0.541 to 0.752], 0.370 [0.345 to 0.396], 0.84 [0.569 to 1.080], 0.654 [0.531 to 0.806], and 0.448 [0.362 to 0.556], respectively).

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“This study adds to the building evidence that the significant weight loss associated with bariatric surgery may have a protective effect against cancer formation,” Chittajallu said in a statement.

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