Poor Metabolic Health Can Increase Odds Of Developing Breast Cancer

Postmenopausal women who have high insulin levels may have a greater risk for breast cancer, according to new findings published in Cancer Research.

Researchers from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London found that individuals have a higher risk of breast cancer when they have insulin resistance.

“We found that postmenopausal women who were overweight or obese and metabolically unhealthy were at increased risk for breast cancer, but their metabolically healthy counterparts were not," study author Dr. Marc Gunter said. "We also found that postmenopausal women who were lean but metabolically unhealthy were at similarly increased risk for the disease."

Women who are Insulin Resistant have a Higher Risk

Using data from 3,327 participants in the Women's Health Initiative, researchers found that overweight insulin-resistant women had an 84 percent higher risk of breast cancer than overweight women who were not insulin resistant.

For normal-weight women with high insulin levels, breast cancer risk doubled in comparison to normal-weight women who had healthy fasting insulin levels.

“Our data suggest that insulin resistance may be a significant factor in the development of breast cancer, irrespective of whether a woman is overweight or normal weight,” said Dr Gunter.

“However, we need to conduct further larger-scale studies, preferably ones that allow us to follow a woman’s metabolic health over time, to better understand this and to verify our current findings.”

Source: Imperial College London

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