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Gum disease bacteria linked to esophageal cancer

Raghu Kshitiz

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KATHMANDU — At least three types of bacteria in the mouths may heighten or lower their risk of developing esophageal cancer, Researchers at NYU Langone Health’s Perlmutter Cancer Center have reported.

The study, publishing online Dec 1 in the journal Cancer Research, tracked the oral health of 122,000 Americans for 10 years which found that the presence of two types of bacteria linked with gum disease may hike the risk of the cancer.

An analysis of data from two national studies, finds a 21 percent increased cancer risk tied to the presence of Tannerella forsythia, bacteria commonly linked to gum disease.

By contrast, types of Streptococcus and Neisseria bacteria were associated with as much as a 24 percent decrease in risk for esophageal cancer. Neisseria are known to break down the toxins in tobacco smoke, and smokers are known to have lower amounts of these bacteria in their mouths than nonsmokers.

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The study,led by NYU Langone Health’s Perlmutter Cancer Center in New York, NY, also reveals that some types of mouth bacteria are linked to lower risk of esophageal cancer.

Gum disease has already been linked in numerous studies to a heightened risk of the number one killer, heart disease. But an expert in esophageal cancer who reviewed the new findings stressed that researchers can’t yet prove a causal link to esophageal tumors.

“What is not clear is whether the presence of these bacteria or the resultant periodontal disease is primarily responsible for the development of cancer,” said Dr Anthony Starpoli, associate director of esophageal endotherapy at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

Starpoli believes specialists should consider a proper evaluation of the oral cavity as well as the remainder of the digestive tract in the hope of early diagnosis of esophageal cancer.

Senior investigator of the study Jiyoung Ahn, an associate professor and epidemiologist at NYU School of Medicine, believes that the findings will take us closer to establishing the causes of esophageal cancer.

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Esophageal cancer is the eighth most common cancer and the sixth leading cause of cancer death worldwide, the study authors noted.

“Our study brings us much closer to identifying the underlying causes of these cancers because we now know that at least in some cases disease appears consistently linked to the presence of specific bacteria in the upper digestive tract,” says Ahn.

“Conversely, we have more evidence that the absence or loss of other bacteria in the mouth may lead to these cancers, or to gut diseases that trigger these cancers.”

Ahn said, “Esophageal cancer is a highly fatal cancer, and there is an urgent need for new avenues of prevention, risk stratification, and early detection.”

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Type 2 diabetes early in life found to increase risk of fatal heart disease by 60 pc

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — Developing Type 2 diabetes early in life increases risk of death linked to heart disease by 60 percent, according to a study published in Diabetologia.

The condition was once considered a disease of the elderly but the obesity epidemic has led to a surge in cases in young adults and even children too.

Research on 744,000 sufferers over 15 years to 2011 found the average diagnosis age was 59 and there were 115,363 deaths during the period.

It was associated with a 60 percent higher relative risk of dying from heart disease or stroke. Not only that, it was linked to almost a 30 percent higher risk of death from any cause, though a lower risk of dying from cancer was seen.

“Type 2 diabetes in young people is somewhat aggressive and leads to higher mortality,” said study co-author Dianna Magliano, head of the diabetes and population health laboratory at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia.

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Dr Joel Zonszein, director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, said “Type 2 diabetes has evolved through the years into a different type of disease. It used to be a disease of the elderly.” He was not involved with the study.

“What we see nowadays with Type 2 diabetes is that it’s affecting a younger population and is more aggressive. There’s more weight, more lipotoxicity, more insulin resistance and more inflammation, and inflammation can cause premature cardiovascular disease,” Zonszein said.

Lipotoxicity is when the fats in the blood, or cholesterol, build up in places they shouldn’t, such as the liver, kidneys or heart.

The researchers also think the reason the younger people had fewer cancers is that it’s just more common for older people to have cancer.

They also suggested that because this group of younger people is being treated for Type 2 diabetes, it’s possible that when they do have cancer, it’s getting diagnosed and treated sooner, because they’re already engaged in the health care system.

With Agency Inputs

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