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Tuesday 6th December 2016
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Study finds link between birth size and breast cancer

30th September 2008

Women who were big at birth are at greater risk of breast cancer, a new study has found.

High birth size could account for five percent of breast cancers in developed countries such as the UK, said scientists.

Weight, body length and head circumference were all correlated with breast cancer risk in adulthood. Of the three, the most significant association was with body length.

Women who measured 51 centimetres or more at birth were 17 per cent more likely to develop breast cancer than those who had a birth size of 49 centimetres.

Birth record data showed that every 0.5 kilogram increase in birth weight was associated with a significant six percent increase in breast cancer risk.

A team from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical medicine analysed findings from 32 investigations looking at 22,058 cases of breeast cancer among more than 600,000 women. Most of the patients lived in developed countries, and they included post menopausal and younger women.

Scientists have linked birth size and breast cancer before but the findings from individual studies have been inconsistent.

 

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