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Obesity Raises Endometrial Cancer Risk

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Jul 19, 2009

Women with extra weight have a higher risk of endometrial cancer, states a new study published by Obstetrics & Gynecology.

The study found this was the case especially if the woman experiences an early menopause, and that women with a body mass index (BMI) higher than 35 who were under the age of 45 before their last menstrual period were 22 times more likely to develop endometrial cancers than other women of the same age with healthy BMIs.

Women who were younger than 45 when they had their last period and had a BMI above 35 had a 21.7 times greater risk of developing endometrial cancer than a woman of normal weight. In women older than 45 at their last menstrual period, those with BMIs above 35 had 3.7 times greater odds of developing endometrial cancer than their normal-weight peers.

Women who had BMIs of at least 25 who were also under 45 at the age of their last menstrual period had about a sixfold increase in risk vs. their normal-weight counterparts.

The researchers suspect that a hormonal imbalance, specifically a lack of progesterone, is likely to blame for the increased risk, Thomas said.

However, weight loss can aid in reducing the risk of endometrial cancer, and is another important reason to get healthier. Any woman who experiences significant changes in her menstrual period is also strongly advised to discuss it with her physician.

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