Focus on High BMI to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk, Not Waist Circumference

While a large waist circumference, regardless of body mass index (BMI), is associated with a greater risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers, this does not seem to be the case for post-menopausal breast cancer. Using long-term data on nearly 29,000 women, researchers found no greater risk for breast cancer among post-menopausal women with a large waist circumference once BMI was taken into account. According to Dr. Mia Gadet, “The message is that if you have a high BMI, regardless if you are pear or apple shaped, you are at higher risk of breast cancer. Most prior studies on this issue looked at BMI or at waist circumference, but had not looked at them together. This study brings some clarity to the association between obesity and risk of breast cancer.”
Cancer Causes & Control, June 2014