ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Acupuncture Cuts Dry Mouth in Cancer Patients
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
More Faces Being Spared in Motor Vehicle Accidents
Body Fat, Muscle Distribution Linked to RA Disability
Improved Hip Implants Can Last 20 Years
CANCER
Green Tea May Help Prevent Oral Cancer
Scams and Shams That Prey on Cancer Patients
Vitamin E, Selenium and Soy Won't Prevent Prostate Cancer
CAREGIVING
Hospital Volume Imperfect Gauge of Cancer Surgery Outcomes
Coordination Has Led to Quicker Heart Treatment
Rapid Infant Weight Gain Linked to Childhood Obesity
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Smog Tougher on the Obese
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
DIABETES
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Is Coffee Good or Bad for Your Health?
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
Iced Teas Pose High Risk of Kidney Stones
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Rainy Areas in U.S. Show Higher Autism Rates
Old-Growth Forests Dying Off in U.S. West
Pregnant Rural Women More at Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
Glaucoma Associated With Reading Impairments in Elderly
Vision Test for Young Children Called Unreliable
FITNESS
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
Vigorous Exercise Can Cut Breast Cancer Risk
Study Shows Exercise Shields Against Osteoporosis
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Keep Fire Safety in Mind as You Celebrate
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Omega-6 Fatty Acids Can Be Good for You
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
Fatty Fish May Cut Heart Failure Risk in Men
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Teen Stress May Have Roots in First Three Years of Life
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
MEN'S HEALTH
Countdown to Hair Loss
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
SENIORS
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Add your Article

Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk

Women who pack on the pounds over their lifetime steadily increase their risk for postmenopausal breast cancer, compared with women who maintain their weight, a new study finds.

Earlier studies have linked excess weight with an increased risk for breast cancer in postmenopausal women, but this is one of the few studies that traces the risk as a function of weight gain over time.

"Among women who had never used postmenopausal hormone therapy, those who had a body-mass index (BMI) gain between age 20 and 50 had a doubling of breast cancer risk," said lead researcher Laura Sue, a cancer research fellow at the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

Sue was expected to present the findings Tuesday at the American Association for Cancer Research's annual meeting, in Washington D.C.

For the study, Sue's team collected data on more than 72,000 women who took part in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. When the study began, the women were between 55 and 74 years old. Among these women, 3,677 had developed a postmenopausal breast cancer.

The researchers looked only at women who had had breast cancer and had never taken hormone replacement therapy to reduce menopausal symptoms. Hormone therapy can boost the risk for developing breast cancer, so by looking at women who had never taken the therapy, the researchers were able to better isolate weight as an individual risk factor.

Compared with women who maintained about the same weight at 50 as they had at age 20, women who gained about 30 pounds over the years increased their risk for breast cancer twofold, the study found.

Among the women in the study, almost 57 percent had increased their BMI by five kilograms per meter squared (kg/m2) over 30 years. That's akin to a women 5 feet 4 inches tall putting on about 30 pounds, Sue said.

An increase in BMI of 5 kg/m2 or more over 30 years increased the risk of developing postmenopausal breast cancer by 88 percent, compared with women whose BMI remained stable over the same period.

Among women whose BMI increased 5 kg/m2 or more from the age of 50 onwards, their risk for breast cancer increased 56 percent, compared with women whose BMI remained the same. That means that jumps in weight before and after age 50 boost a woman's odds for postmenopausal breast cancer, the researchers noted.

The increased risk for breast cancer was tied to the weight gain itself, not to becoming obese, Sue added.

The rise in risk may be due to an increase in the production of estrogen in the body's excess fat cells, which in turn may increase the number of cells produced in the breasts, upping the risk for cancer, Sue said.

The bottom line: "We believe healthy BMI maintenance throughout adulthood is important in terms of breast cancer risk," she said.

SOURCES: Laura Sue, M.P.H., cancer research fellow, U.S. National Cancer Institute; April 20, 2010, presentation, American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting, Washington D.C. Published on: April 20, 2010