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Poorer cancer patients 'more likely to develop diseases'

Poorer cancer patients 'more likely to develop diseases'
24th November 2010

Poorer cancer patients are more likely to develop dementia as well as other serious illnesses, according to new research.

Researchers from Eindhoven Cancer Registry in the Netherlands found that the patient's background affected their chances of developing other serious illnesses such as dementia, heart disease, tuberculosis and diabetes.

Patients from poorer backgrounds are 50 per cent more likely to develop at least one of these illnesses, found the research published in the British Journal of Cancer.

These illnesses could seriously impact on the survival of poorer patients, lessening their likelihood of one-year survival by a significant amount.

Dr Lesley Walker, director of cancer information at Cancer Research UK, said the findings are likely to be due to differing lifestyles between the rich and the poor.

"More work needs to be done to raise awareness in economically-deprived areas about the risks of smoking and obesity and the benefits of a healthy diet and exercise."

This comes after researchers from the University of Dundee found that a miracle pill used to treat diabetes could be utilised in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's.