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Individuals With Anemia At Heightened Risk of Developing Cancer

A study in South Korea revealed that individuals with anemia are at heightened risk of developing cancer.

Individuals With Anemia At Heightened Risk of Developing Cancer
Photo: Red Blood Cells in Human | InStyleHealth

Research study involved 454,304 adults who underwent a standardized medical examination. The individuals were monitored for 12 years for the occurrence of cancer.

There was a total of 41,947 individuals, 9.2%, were found to be anemic – which is defined as serum hemoglobin levels of <12g/dL in women and <13 g/dL in men. The remaining 412,357 or 90.8% of the group had no anemia.

During the analysis of 83,886 propensity-score matched cases and controls, 41,943 per group, utilizing the Cox regression, anemia relayed a 3% increase in the risk of incident cancer overall.

Particularly, individuals with anemia were more likely to develop gastric cancer, esophageal cancer, lung cancer, thyroid cancer, neoplasms of breast and genital organs, and lymphoma or leukemia compared with the control group.

Although more studies are needed to validate the current data and establish the correlated mechanisms.

Correlation between anemia and cancers has been reported in the prior studies. Risk increase in gastric cancer, particularly, in anemic individuals is thought to be partly due to a less acidic stomach or hypochlorhydria as well as chronic inflammation.


Source: Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021;30:1440-1448

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