(HealthDay News) — Adolescents’ weight and socioeconomic status (SES) may affect their subsequent risk of developing esophageal and gastric cancer, according to a study published online Oct. 15 in Cancer.

Zohar Levi, M.D., from Rabin Medical Center in Petach Tikva, Israel, and colleagues utilized body mass index measurements for one million Israeli adolescent males (mean age, 17.3 years) who underwent a general health examination from 1967 to 2005. Data were linked with the Israeli National Cancer Registry to identify incident cancer.

The researchers identified 182 incident cancer cases (52 combined esophageal adenocarcinoma [EAC] and gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma [GEJAC] cases and 130 noncardia gastric cancer [NCGC] cases). There was a significantly increased risk associated with adolescent overweight at baseline in the combined group of EAC and GEJAC cases (multivariable hazard ratio, 2.1).

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There was an increased risk of intestinal-type NCGC associated with low SES (lowest versus highest category: multivariable hazard ratio, 2.2) and low number of years of education (no more than nine years: multivariable hazard ratio, 1.9). Immigrants born in Asian countries and the former Soviet Union had an increased adjusted risk of NCGC.

“Overweight during adolescence was found to be substantially associated with the subsequent development of EAC and GEJAC,” the authors write. “Lower SES as well as immigration from higher-risk countries are important determinants of NCGC.”