US Pharm. 2016;41(9):HS-12.

The length of time characterized by overweight and obesity in women’s adult lives is associated with cancer risk, according to a longitudinal study published in PLOS Medicine.

The research, led by Melina Arnold of the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, and Professor Hoda Anton-Culver at the University of California, Irvine, examined United States Women’s Health Initiative data to identify dose-response relationships between duration of high body mass index (BMI) and the risk of developing several types of cancer.

Using multiple BMI measurements over time from some 74,000 women, the scientists examined the link between duration of overweight, obesity, and cancer risk. They found that every 10-year increase in adulthood overweight duration was associated with a 7% (95% CI 6%-9%) increase in the risk of all obesity-related cancers; a 5% (3%-7%) increase in the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer; and a 17% (12%-22%) increase in the risk of developing endometrial cancer.