(HealthDay News) — A diagnosis of metabolic syndrome is associated with higher risk for endometrial cancer, regardless of whether the patient is considered obese, according to new research published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
Britton Trabert, PhD, an investigator in the division of cancer epidemiology and genetics at the U.S. National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues reviewed information on 16,323 American women diagnosed with endometrial cancer between 1993 and 2007. The study authors compared those women with 100,751 women without endometrial cancer.
Overall, metabolic syndrome was associated with a 39% to 103% increased risk for endometrial cancer in women aged 65 years and older. The reason for the variation in risk is that health groups have different definitions for metabolic syndrome.
Being overweight is a known risk factor for endometrial cancer. But, even after the researchers accounted for excess weight, metabolic syndrome was still linked to up to a 21% increased risk. Each condition that contributes to metabolic syndrome was found to be independently associated with increased risk for endometrial cancer.
“Although our study was not designed to evaluate the potential impact of preventing metabolic syndrome on endometrial cancer incidence, weight loss and exercise are the most effective steps a woman can take to prevent developing metabolic syndrome,” Trabert said in an American Association for Cancer Research news release.