The Longer You Weight

Obesity, overweight duration may be tied to cancer risk in women

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Anyssa Garza, PharmD

(RxWiki News) The longer women are overweight or obese as adults, the more likely they may be to get cancer, a new study found.

In fact, the University of California, Irvine, researchers behind this study found that every 10 years women were overweight as adults meant a 7 percent increase in the risk for all obesity-related cancers. Obesity-related cancers include breast, colon, rectal and endometrial cancer, among others.

Also, each decade more of being overweight was tied to a 17 percent increase in endometrial cancer risk and a 5 percent increase in postmenopausal breast cancer risk, these researchers found.

After researchers adjusted more specifically for how overweight study participants were, the increased risk figures went slightly higher.

These researchers looked at body mass index (BMI) in around 74,000 women with about 6,300 cancers diagnosed during the 12.6-year mean follow-up. BMI, a measurement based on height and weight, is not a perfect representation of body fat, according to this study.

Talk to your doctor about how to maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk for cancer.

This study was published in PLOS Medicine.

UC Irvine, the World Cancer Research Fund International and the Union for International Cancer Control funded this research. Study authors disclosed ties to various pharmaceutical companies and research institutions unrelated to the current study.

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Review Date: 
August 22, 2016
Last Updated:
August 25, 2016