According to researchers at the National Cancer Institute obese older women who never took postmenopausal hormones are at almost double the risk of developing ovarian cancer than their peers who are thinner.
These findings add to an ongoing scientific controversy over the potential association between body weight and ovarian cancer. “We speculate that what may be driving the increased risk among the obese is the surplus estrogenproduced by the fat cells in the body,” said Dr. Michael F. Leitzmann, a former investigator at the National Cancer Institute and first author of the paper.
The study looked at 94,525 women ages 50 to 71. Over a seven-year period, 303 of the women developed ovarian cancer. Overall, women who were obese, defined as having a body mass index of 30 or more (isn't that 90% of all us women over 50), were 1.26 times more likely to develop cancer than those of normal weight. Those are the women having a B.M.I. under 25.
But, in a subgroup of women who had never used hormone replacement therapy, obese women were 1.83 times more likely to have developed the cancer than women of normal weight.
Among those who had taken hormones, there was no association between B.M.I. and ovarian cancer, the study found.
Interesting - don't you think?