TUESDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Weight gain but not weight cycling during adulthood is associated with an increased risk for endometrial cancer in postmenopausal women, and this is independent of body mass index (BMI), according to a study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, held from Oct. 22 to 25 in Boston.
Victoria L. Stevens, Ph.D., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues examined whether weight gain and weight cycling during adulthood led to an increased risk for endometrial cancer in postmenopausal women, independent of BMI. Weight cycling was defined as purposefully losing 10 pounds or more but later regaining the weight. Data were evaluated from a total of 38,152 women with an intact uterus who filled out questionnaires on weight and weight cycle history in 1992.
The investigators found that 560 of the women who completed the questionnaire reported a diagnosis of endometrial cancer between 1992 and 2007. For women who had gained 61 pounds or more during that period, there was a nearly four-fold increased risk of endometrial cancer, relative to those who maintained a stable weight. There was a two-fold increase in the endometrial cancer risk after adjusting for baseline BMI. No association was found between weight cycling and endometrial cancer risk after adjustment.
"Weight gain during adulthood may increase risk for endometrial cancer in postmenopausal women, but weight cycling, which results from unsuccessful attempts to lose weight, does not increase risk for this cancer," Stevens said in a statement.