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Diabetes, overweight linked to high risk of breast cancer

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By David Liu, PHD

Wednesday April 25, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- It is known that obese postmenopausal women are at higher risk of developing breast cancer (BC), particularly those who display an android-type pattern of adiposity, which is in turn associated to elevated risks of diabetes mellitus, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

A new study released in April 2012 in Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention found an association between being diabetic and overweight, and increased risk of breast cancer.

For the study, A. L. Ronco of Pereira Rossell Women's Hospital in Montevideo Uruguaya conducted the study of 367 new breast cancer cases and 545 controls with normal mammograms aged 23 to 69 enrolled in the study between 2004 and 2009.

The researchers found women who had a history of diabetes were 64 percent more likely to develop breast cancer and the increase was 92 percent among postmenopausal women.

Among postmenopausal women, those who had diabetes, and overweight and dislipidemia were more than 9 times as likely to have breast cancer compared to those who did not have these health conditions and those who had diabetes, overweight and high fat/muscle ratio were almost eight times as likely to have the disease.

Diabetes, dislipidemia, and overweight are all associated with certain dietary habits.  Breast cancer is largely a preventable disease.  Using a healthy diet and following a overall healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of breast cancer.

In the United States, one in eight women are expected to develop breast cancer in their lifetime.  Each year, an estimated 200,000 women are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.

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