Going up a skirt size every 10 years between the age of 20 and 64 raised breast cancer risk for women, in later life by 33 per cent, according to a new study, The Independent reported.
Weight gain was a known risk factor for many cancers, but according to researchers from University College London's Department of Women's Cancer, a thickening waist appeared to be particularly harmful.
The findings were based on responses from 93,000 women over-50, who gave their current skirt size, and what their skirt size had been during their 20s, along with detailed information on other factors that could influence cancer risk, such as reproductive health and family history.
After taking into account several factors, skirt size increase emerged as the strongest predictor of cancer risk, according to the study, published today in the online journal BMJ Open.
Going up one skirt size every 10 years was associated with a 33-per cent greater risk of getting cancer after the menopause while a two-skirt size increase in the same timescales carried a 77-per cent greater risk.
Of the 93,000 women who participated in the five-year study, 1,090 developed breast cancer – an absolute risk of just over 1 per cent.