variables have been implicated as substantial risk factors
for breast cancer, including family history of the disease
and early onset of menstruation. Recent research also hints
at a link between hormone replacement and breast cancer (See
"Hormone Therapy May Contribute to Breast Cancer"
in the April 2000 issue of To Your Health).
A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology reveals
another possible contributor to this devastating disease:
body fat distribution. As part of the Nurses' Health Study
(1986-1994), 47,382 U.S. registered nurses reported their
waist and hip circumferences at entrance and were monitored
for the next eight years for incidence of breast cancer.
Increasing waist circumference was significantly related
to breast cancer in postmenopausal, but not premenopausal,
women. This association was maintained even when considering
overall obesity and other breast cancer risk factors, and
was even stronger among women who had never received hormone
replacement therapy. Consult with a health care professional
to learn how to minimize your risk of developing breast cancer.
Huang Z, Willett WC, Colditz GA. Waist circumference, waist:hip
ratio, and risk of breast cancer in the Nursesą Health Study.
American Journal of Epidemiology, Dec. 1999: Vol. 150,
No. 12, pp1316-24.