Add this to the list of dangers associated with obesity: New research from Sweden suggests obesity is a risk factor for developing skin cancer, and weight loss—in this case via bariatric surgery—could reduce the risk of malignant melanoma skin cancer, in particular, by 61%.

The study included 2,007 bariatric surgery patients and 2,040 nonsurgery controls whose skin cancer incidence was monitored for 18 years. Aside from the significantly lower risk of developing malignant melanoma, the surgery group saw a 42% reduction in skin cancer risk in general.

“This finding supports the idea that obesity is a melanoma risk factor, and indicates that weight loss in individuals with obesity can reduce the risk of a deadly form of cancer that has increased steadily in many countries over several decades,” the authors explain.

The findings were presented at the 25th European Congress on Obesity in Vienna.