WOMEN WITH higher waist-to-hip ratios increase their risk of womb cancer by more than a fifth.
Research published in the British Medical Journal found that for every 0.1-unit increase in the ratio between waist and hip, the risk of getting the disease increased by a staggering 21 per cent.
Experts from the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) said the results showed a strong correlation between carrying extra weight around the waist and cancer. Nearly 10,000 women are diagnosed with the disease, which is otherwise known as endometrial cancer and uterine cancer, every year in the UK.
Currently, women calculate their waist-to-hip ratio by dividing waist size by their hip measurement.
For women, having a ratio that’s greater than 0.85 is an indicator of obesity, while the figure is 0.90 for men. The study also found connections between bowel and pancreatic cancer.
‘These results demonstrate how important it is for women to make sure they maintain a healthy weight in order to reduce their cancer risk,’ says Prof Konstantinos Tsilidis, of Imperial College London, who co-authored the research.
‘More evidence on the associations between body fat and different cancer types could allow for individuals to be targeted for personalised cancer prevention interventions, such as weight loss programmes.’
STATISTICS (Source: Cancer Research UK)
• Ovarian cancer is the UK’s sixth most-diagnosed among the female population
• There were around 7,400 new cases of ovarian cancer in the UK in 2014, that’s 20 cases diagnosed every day.
• 53 per cent of ovarian cancer cases in the UK each year are diagnosed in females aged 65 and over
• UK incidence rates for ovarian cancer are highest in females aged 75-79
• Incidence rates for ovarian cancer are projected to rise by 15 per cent in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 32 cases per 100,000 females by 2035
• 1 in 52 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer during their lifetime
• According to Cancer Research UK, that number is projected to rise by 15 per cent in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 32 cases per 100,000 females by 2035.
Dr Panagiota Mitrou, director of research funding at the WCRF, said: ‘We know that extra weight around the waist increases the risk of a range of health conditions, such as diabetes, but this important study is helping us shine a light on how body fat around the waist could affect cancer risk.
‘It is incredibly important that people are aware of the dangers of excess body fat, particularly around their waist.
‘After not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight is the best thing people can do to help prevent cancer.’