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Fatter Waist and Breast Cancer Risk

Posted 9/29/2014

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  I think I hate this story and this study. All of us "women of a certain age" (meaning post-menopausal) are already very aware that we will never again have the wasp-like waists of our youth. Remember Scarlett O'Hara being laced into a tight corset? I suspect that wouldn't even work. As we age, no matter how much or little weight we gain, everything shifts, and all of us are thicker around the middle and hips than we once were. I look at lovely young women with tiny waists and sigh..and remind myself that I had my time like that and didn't even appreciate it.

  Given that everything in nature has a purpose, I have puzzled over why this happens. Here is the best I can do (and I would love to hear your theories): Since older/old women often have more fragile bones and are at risk for hip fractures after a fall, nature has arranged for us to pad ourselves with extra fat so we are less likely to break our bones. What do you think?

  At any rate, this study from the UK found that increasing skirt size (which seems to be a polite English way of saying "getting fat around the waist") ups the risk of breast cancer quite a lot. Here is the start of Consumer Health Day's  report and then a link to read more (and depress yourself further):

Increasing Skirt Sizes May Hike Your Breast Cancer Risk: Study

By Kathleen Doheny

If you want to minimize your chances of developing breast cancer, staying the same skirt size over the years might help, a new study suggests.

"Our study has shown that an increase of one size every 10 years between 25 and postmenopausal age [over 60] is associated with an increase of breast cancer [risk] in postmenopausal women by 33 percent," said lead researcher Dr. Usha Menon, head of the Gynecological Cancer Research Center at University College London.

The findings are based on information from nearly 93,000 women enrolled in a British database for cancer screening. When the women entered the study between 2005 and 2010, all were over age 50. None had a diagnosis of breast cancer.

At age 25, the women's average skirt size had been an 8. When they entered the study, at the average age of 64, the average size was a 10. Three out of four women reported increased skirt sizes.


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