Putting on pounds after menopause increases the risk of breast cancer, according to a recent study.
Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston wanted to know how weight gained by middle-aged women affected their breast cancer risk. Previous studies have shown women who lose weight have a decreased risk of cancer
More than 87,000 postmenopausal women between ages 30 and 55 were followed for up to 26 years to analyze weight change since they were 18. Women who gained 55 pounds since then were 45% more likely to develop breast cancer than women who maintained their weight. Women who gained 22 pounds after menopause were 18% more likely to develop breast cancer than women who maintained their weight after menopause. Women who lost 22 pounds or more after menopause and had never used hormone therapy had a 57% lower risk of developing cancer.
The researchers say the data they gathered shows weight gain during the adult years is dangerous for women.