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Overweight and Obesity Duration and Risk of Cancer

PLOS Med; ePub 2016 Aug 16; Arnold, Jiang, et al

Being overweight for a longer duration during adulthood significantly increased the incidence of all obesity-related cancers by 7%, of postmenopausal breast cancer, and of endometrial cancer. This according to an observational study of 73,913 postmenopausal women from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) with body mass index (BMI) information from at least 3 occasions during follow-up and free of cancer at baseline. Researchers found:

• A longer duration of overweight was significantly associated with the incidence of all obesity-related cancers.

• For postmenopausal breast and endometrial cancer, every 10-year increase in adulthood overweight duration was associated with a 5% and 17% increase in risk, respectively.

• Those figures rose to 8% and 37%, respectively, on adjusting for intensity of overweight.

• Women who never used postmenopausal hormones had greater risks of postmenopausal breast and endometrial cancer related to overweight duration.

Citation: Arnold M, Jiang L, Stefanick ML, et al. Duration of adulthood overweight, obesity, and cancer risk in the Women’s Health Initiative: A longitudinal study from the United States. [Published online ahead of print August 16, 2016]. PLOS Med. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1002081.