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Women's Health Watch

Obesity Factor Ups Bone-marrow Cancer Risk

Published Online: Tuesday, November 1, 2005   [ Request Print ]

Researchers have uncovered additional evidence to support how obesity may increase a woman's risk of developing multiple myeloma. The results of earlier studies looking into the possible link between excess weight and the disease were inconsistent, reported researchers in Epidemiology (September 2005).

The current study looked at several characteristics to examine the relationship between the bone-marrow cancer and obesity. The characteristics included body mass index (BMI), weight alone, waist-to-hip ratio, and individual waist and hip measurements.

The findings were based on data for 37,083 postmenopausal women followed for 16 years. Women with a BMI of ≥30 were 1.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with multiple myeloma. The participants with the greatest weight, waist circumference, or hip circumference had a doubled risk. No relationship was found between waist-to-hip ratio and multiple myeloma risk.


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