ISLAMABAD  – people who living at higher altitudes were more likely to be slimmer than those in low-lying areas, says a new research.

Jameson Voss, from Uniformed Services University in Maryland, who led the research, said: `I was surprised by the magnitude of the effect...I wasn’t expecting such a consistent pattern as what was emerging,’ Health News reported.

The study was based on data from 400,000 people living in Colorado. The figures showed a person’s obesity risk dropped with every 660 feet increase in elevation.

`It provides some evidence that these associations persist over the long term,’ Voss said.

Cynthia Beall, who researches how the body adapts to high altitudes but was not involved with the new study, said it’s common for travelers to high elevations to burn more calories in their first few weeks, the International Journal of Obesity reports. Researchers combined information from several databases, including a telephone health survey of 422,603 Americans from 2011. They had information on 236 people who lived at the highest altitude of at least 9,800 feet above sea level. Those people tended to smoke less, eat healthier and exercise more, according to the Daily Mail.

The researchers also had information on 322,681 people who lived in the lowest altitude range less than 1,600ft above sea level.

After taking into account other factors that could influence the results such as retirement age, the researchers found adults living in the lowest altitude range had a Body Mass Index (BMI), a height to weight ration of 26.6.  That compared to people who lived in the highest altitude range, who had a BMI of 24.2. A healthy BMI falls between 18.5 and 24.9.

Fight tobacco marketing, boost vaccinations to curb cancer

Fighting the tobacco industry’s tactics in the world’s poorest countries and ensuring the best vaccines get to those most in need are key to cutting the number of cancer deaths worldwide, according to a report by specialists in the disease.

Experts reporting from a meeting of cancer organizations across the world said smoking and other forms of tobacco use are the main drivers of a growing global burden of cancer, Today’s Zaman reported here.

They urged governments to put citizens’ health above the financial gains they reap from the tobacco business.

“The number of people diagnosed with cancer across the world is increasing. But there are clear actions that all countries can take which will go a long way to reducing both the numbers diagnosed from cancer and deaths from the disease,” said Harpal Kumar of the charity Cancer Research UK in a report published by the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Some 12.7 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year worldwide and cancer now accounts for more than 15 percent of annual deaths globally.

The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said last year that the number of people with cancer is set to surge by more than 75 percent by 2030, with particularly sharp rises in poor countries as they adopt unhealthy “Westernized” lifestyles.

Smoking is known to cause lung cancer — one of the most deadly forms of the disease — and also increases the of many other types including head and neck cancers, cancers of the bladder and kidneys, and breast, pancreas and colon cancer.