Obesity could cause early onset breast cancer, study shows

19 October 2011

Obese women have a higher risk of getting breast cancer earlier in life, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Granada, Spain, studied 524 women suffering breast cancer and found that those who were heavily overweight were diagnosed with the disease at an earlier age. The women in the study who were of a healthy weight reported getting breast cancer later in life.

Published in the Spanish journal Nutricion Hospitalaria, the research led by Professor Maria Jose Aguilar Cordero also found that women who started menstruation cycles earlier than average - between the ages of nine and ten years - developed the cancer at an early age.

These new results obtained between 2009 and 2011 show a direct contrast with earlier studies that demonstrated that individuals with higher body mass index had [a] lower risk of suffering breast cancer.

Genetic factors and family history were also taken into account during the study. These showed that up to 18 per cent of cases of breast cancer in women have links to family and genes.

According to healthcare research, obesity develops as a result of dietary and lifestyle factors, but studies also suggest a genetic influence on obesity.

Posted by Edward Bartel.

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