Weighty Waistlines Linked to Womb Cancer

By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD

New research reveals that women with a waist measurement of 34 inches or more are twice as likely to develop cancer of the womb than women whose waist measurements are below 31 inches.

The study, part funded by Cancer Research UK and the Medical Research Council, analysed data from 223,000 women in 10 European countries. It also found that the risk of endometrial cancer (lining of the womb) almost doubled in women who had put on more than 44lb since the age of 20. Similarly, the risk of this cancer almost doubled in those women with a BMI of 30 or more compared to those with a BMI of 19-25.

Dr Lesley Walker, Cancer Research UK’s director of cancer information, said, “The results of this study confirm that women carrying excess weight are much more likely to develop endometrial cancer than those women who are a normal weight.”

WLR Says:

Experts have known for some time that there’s a link between obesity and cancer but this research adds evidence that overweight women are specifically at a much greater risk of endometrial cancer.

This study provides yet more proof that maintaining a healthy weight for our height helps to prevent many different diseases.

The good news is, losing weight will reduce our risk. So if you’re struggling to shift those pounds, use this piece of research to help remind you why you want to lose weight in the first place.

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Further Information


The site gives answers to some of the general questions being asked about womb cancer. This can also be called cancer of the uterus (uterine cancer) or cancer of the endometrium (endometrial cancer).


The Medical Research Council (MRC) is a publicly-funded organisation dedicated to improving human health. The Council support research across the entire spectrum of medical sciences.

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