Obesity Hikes Young Women's Risk of Endometrial Cancer

-- Jeff Muise

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

TUESDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- Obese and overweight women younger than 55 have an elevated risk for endometrial cancer, especially if they stop menstruating at an early age, according to a study in the July issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Cheryll C. Thomas, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data on women who participated in the Cancer and Steroid Hormone study in the early 1980s. Participants who had endometrial cancer were identified through cancer registries, and a control group was randomly selected in the same regions as the study group. The body mass index (BMI) for each woman was calculated and logistic regression used to estimate the association between BMI and endometrial cancer.

The researchers found that for women whose last menstrual period occurred before they were 45, those with BMIs of at least 35.0 had a greater risk of endometrial cancer (56 percent; odds ratio, 21.7) than women with normal BMIs (4 percent). Women whose last menstrual period occurred at age 45 or older and who had BMIs of at least 35 also had higher risk (40 percent; odds ratio, 3.7) than women with normal BMIs (14 percent).

"This study found a statistically significant interaction between BMI and age at last menstrual period and showed that women who had their last menstrual periods before age 45 had the highest risk of developing endometrial cancer associated with being overweight or obese," the authors write.

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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