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Body fat and its role in breast cancer

postmenopausal women than premenopausal women. Height was linked to breast cancer risk in both groups, but more significantly in postmenopausal women. The reasons for this are not well understood, but may be explained by factors that influence both bone growth and breast cancer, such as birth weight, diet, infection, energy balance and insulin-like growth factors. In postmenopausal women, obesity was linked to increase risk of breast cancer in women who were not using HRT, while those on HRT with a low BMI had an increased risk. In terms of fat distribution, hip circumference was a strong predictor of postmenopausal breast cancer in women not using HRT, but waist circumference, controlled for overall body fat (BMI), was not significantly related to increased breast cancer risk, neither in post- nor in premenopausal women.

The authors conclude: "Overweight is one of the few modifiable breast cancer risk factors and thus an important measure for breast cancer prevention and prognosis."


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Contact: David Greenberg
dgreenbe@wiley.com
201-748-6484
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
17-May-2004


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