AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 2, 2018


Obesity May Increase Risk of Developing Meningioma

According to a recent study published in the journal Neurology, being overweight or obese may be tied to an increased risk of developing a meningioma, a brain tumor that occurs a rate of about five-to-eight cases per 100,000 people per year. The meta-analysis that was conducted looked at all of the available research on body mass index (BMI), physical activity and the brain tumors meningioma and glioma. A total of 12 studies on body mass index and six on physical activity were analyzed, involving 2,982 meningioma cases and 3,057 glioma cases. Results of the study showed that compared to people with a normal weight, overweight people were 21-percent more likely to develop a meningioma and obese people were 54-percent more likely to develop one. Overweight was defined has having a BMI of 25 to 29.9; obese was considered a BMI of 30 or higher. No relationship was found between excess weight and glioma, which occurs at about the same rate as meningioma but has a worse prognosis. The researchers noted that the analysis does not prove that excess weight and lack of physical activity causes the brain tumors; it shows the association. “With physical activity, it’s possible that meningiomas that had not been diagnosed yet caused people to reduce their physical activity at the time it was measured,” the study’s lead researcher said. “As a reminder, while there was an association in the study between weight and this type of tumor, it should be noted that tumors are rare.” To read more about this study, click here.

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