Obesity linked to increased risk for ovarian cancer

Obese women may have an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer compared to healthy-weight women, Counsel and Heal reported.

In an analysis of 25 population-based studies, researchers from Rutgers University discovered that women with a body mass index (BMI) over 30, which qualifies them as obese, have the highest risk for ovarian cancer.

"We estimated a 6 percent increase in [ovarian cancer] risk per five [points] increase in body-mass index," study author Dr. Elisa Bandera, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, in New Brunswick, said.

Additionally, researchers reported that taller women also seemed to have a higher risk for developing ovarian cancer. Researchers noted that both findings are correlations –  not necessarily cause-and-effect relationships.

"What this means for cancer prevention is that prevention efforts need to target the life course, not just adulthood, and families, not just individuals," Bandera told WebMD. "Because we also have evidence linking obesity to other cancers and other chronic diseases, maintenance of healthy weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise is a safe bet to live a healthy life.”

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