Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Skirt size increase linked to greater post-menopausal breast cancer risk

  • Comment

Going up a clothes size could increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer by as much as 33%, researchers have found.

If a 25-year-old women goes up a size - for instance from a size 12 to a 14 - every 10 years until after they go through the menopause they could be increasing their chances of getting the disease, the study found.

The authors said that overall weight gain has been linked to breast cancer but a thicker waist appears to be particularly harmful.

Their study, published in the journal BMJ Open, examined the self-reported “central obesity” of more than 90,000 women across England aged 50 and over who had no known history of breast cancer.

They were asked about their skirt size when they were aged 25, their current size and a number of other health questions.

During the three-year follow-up period 1,090 women developed the disease.

The researchers found that a unit increase in UK skirt size every 10 years between 25 and postmenopausal age was linked to a 33% increased risk of breast cancer.

Going up two skirt sizes in the same period was associated with a 77% greater risk, they added.

“An increase in skirt size by one unit every decade increases the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer by 33%”

They also found that a reduction in skirt size decreased the risk of breast cancer but cautioned that three quarters of the women surveyed increased their skirt size during their adult lives.

“These findings may provide women with a simple and easy to understand message given that skirt size has been found to be a reliable measure for changes in waist circumference and one that women may relate and understand better in comparison to other measures such as BMI (body mass index),” said the researchers from London and Manchester.

“Between 20s and postmenopausal age, an increase in skirt size by one unit every decade increases the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer by 33%,” they added.

Simon Vincent, assistant director of research at charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said: “We know that 40% of breast cancers could be prevented by changes to lifestyle such as being regularly active and maintaining a healthy weight.

Breakthrough Breast Cancer

Simon Vincent

“This study highlights an easy way to monitor your weight gain over time. Women are more likely to remember their skirt size when they were younger than their BMI,” he said.

“We encourage all women to raise their pulse and reduce their risk. Women should take part in regular physical activity of moderate intensity for 3.5 hours per week,” he added.

 

 

 

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.