October 1, 2023


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The First Stage? Obese People More Likely to Develop Blood Cancer After This, According to New Study

2 min read

Could this be the earliest sign of developing blood cancer or heart disease and how can you avoid the risk?

Researchers from Indiana University School of Medicine have conducted a study on clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP), a blood condition that may heighten the likelihood of developing blood cancer. Their investigation revealed a strong correlation between obesity and CHIP.

The findings of this study have been recently published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

CHIP is characterized by the accumulation of genetic mutations in blood cells, thereby elevating the risk of blood cancer. While CHIP commonly occurs with advancing age, the specific risk factors associated with this condition remain poorly understood.

The findings of the new study revealed that “being overweight or obese may be a risk factor for CHIP,” says lead author Santhosh Pasupuleti, “because obesity causes inflammation in the body and changes the bone marrow where blood cells are made.”

And “This increases a person’s risk for blood cancer and cardiovascular disease.”

In the study, data from over 47,000 individuals with CHIP (Clonal Hematopoiesis of Indeterminate Potential) was meticulously examined by the researchers. The findings indicated that a noteworthy 5.8 percent of the population displayed an elevated waist-to-hip ratio, correlating with an increased risk.

Furthermore, the study involved mice models that exhibited both obesity and CHIP, and it was observed that mutated blood cells multiplied at an accelerated rate.

These significant findings strongly support the idea that maintaining a healthy weight and managing systemic inflammation can potentially reduce the likelihood of developing blood cancer later in life.

“Surprisingly, our initial findings suggest that common medications used for treating blood pressure and diabetes,” adds co-author Reuben Kapur, “may play a role in regulating the growth of mutated blood cells.

“Additional future studies will focus on examining individuals who are on these types of medications and their long-term risks of developing blood cancer.” 

In addition to their research, the researchers conducted tests on various drug combinations to specifically target mutant cells associated with CHIP, aiming to discover potential therapeutic avenues for this condition.

The findings underscore the significance of comprehending the interplay between CHIP and obesity, as it could help in identifying individuals susceptible to diseases such as leukemia and guide the development of future treatment modalities.

Image Credit: Getty


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