Skip to Content
Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Information for Journalists

To request an interview with a DCEG investigator, contact the NCI Office of Media Relations:


Phone: 301-496-6641

Extreme obesity may shorten life expectancy up to 14 years

Posted on July 08, 2014

Adults with extreme obesity have increased risks of dying at a younger age from cancer and many other causes including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and kidney and liver diseases, according to results of an analysis of data pooled from 20 large studies of people from three countries. The study, led by researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, found that people with class III (or extreme) obesity had a dramatic reduction in life expectancy compared with people of normal weight. The findings appeared July 8, 2014, in PLOS Medicine. Read the full NCI press release about this study.

This research was supported by the NCI Cohort Consortium.

Reference: Kitahara CM, Flint AJ, Berrington de Gonzalez A, Bernstein L, et al. Association between Class III Obesity (BMI of 40-59 kg/m2) and Mortality: A Pooled Analysis of 20 Prospective Studies. PLoS Med. 2014; 11(7): doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001673.

Related DCEG Research

Obesity and energy balance

Cohort studies

Meet the Investigators

Biography of Cari Meinhold Kitahara, Ph.D.

Biography of Patricia Hartge, Sc.D.