Skirt size increase linked to breast cancer risk
26 Sep BBC
Going up several skirt sizes in midlife could be a warning sign of
increased cancer risk, research suggests.
Women who went up a skirt size every decade after their mid-20s had a
33% greater risk of breast cancer after the menopause, say researchers
at University College London.Watching your skirt size from your mid-20s
onwards could be a simple way to track weight gain, they told BMJ Open.
Obesity is a known risk factor for cancer, particularly midriff
fat.Prof Usha Menon of the Department of Women's Cancer, who led the
study, told BBC News: "If skirt size could be confirmed by others as a
good predictor of breast cancer risk in older women, this would be a
very simple and easy way to monitor weight gain." The study tracked more
than 90,000 women in their 50s and 60s living in England.During the
three-year follow-up period, 1,090 women developed breast cancer.
The researchers found that a unit increase in UK skirt size every 10
years (for example from 12 to 14) between 25 and post-menopausal 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
report.Commenting on the research, Simon Vincent of 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
"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."The researchers said the study had some
limitations - it relied on women being able to accurately recall their
skirt size in their 20s.