Plant-eating migrants less prone to cancer than carnivorous Norwegians

MOSCOW-- Despite the fact a Norwegian government report recently found immigration to be a welfare-threatening burden, immigration seems to have some unexpected benefits. A Norwegian study surprisingly found immigrants to be less prone to cancer than ethnic Norwegians.

In a groundbreaking study that completed the cancer registration in the country, Norway's Cancer Register found considerable differences in cancer incidence among the county's population, the disparities being largely in the immigrants' favor, Norwegian daily Aftenposten reported. Remarkably, immigrants from low-income regions were found to suffer less from cancer compared with the general population.

"In particular, immigrants seem to be protected from typical lifestyle-related cancers, such as colon cancer and lung cancer," Kirsti Vik Hjerkind from the Cancer Register said.

Norwegian researchers explained the startling findings with differences in eating habits, venturing that immigrants probably continue with their plant-based diet from home countries, whereas ethnic Norwegians have a western diet with a fair share of fat, sugar, salt, and red meat. Lower consumption of alcohol and more sparing smoking habits in comparison with "typical Western levels" is thought to have had an impact on the results as well. Drinking alcohol and smoking is particularly linked to a higher risk of breast cancer in pre-menopausal women.

"Immigrants from outside of Europe tend to consume more vegetables and less fast-food in their diet," Doctor Wasim Zahid from the University of Oslo said, admitting that he was not very surprised by the results.

In the course of their work, researchers linked immigration history to information on cancer diagnosis from the Cancer Registry for the period 1990-2012. Among 850,008 immigrants, 9,158 men and 10,334 women developed cancer, as opposed to 263,316 Norwegian-born men and 235,020 Norwegian-born women among 5,508,429 Norwegian-born people. The findings were subsequently published in the International Journal of Cancer.

While non-Europeans tend to develop breast and colon cancer less often than those born in Norway, other cancer types were found to be more prevalent among immigrants. For instance, Eastern European men proved more susceptible to lung cancer, which was ascribed to their smoking habits, whereas migrants from parts of Asia and Africa reportedly ran a higher risk of developing liver cancer than the general Norwegian population, which was attributed to hepatitis viruses common in these areas.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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