Research Highlight

Waist, hip bulges risky for breast cancer

Subhra Priyadarshini

doi:10.1038/nindia.2008.237 Published online 7 July 2008

Higher hip and waist sizes mean higher risk of breast cancer.

Medical researchers studying body measurements among breast cancer patients in India have found that hip and waist sizes were directly linked to their risk of being affected by the malignant condition. In higher hip and waist size women, the risk of breast cancer was more1.

The study was conducted among urban and rural women at the Regional Cancer Centre, Trivandrum, and in three cancer hospitals in Chennai during 2002–2005. Over 1800 histologically confirmed cases were selected for the study and their anthropometric factors were measured. It was found that the proportion of women with body mass index (BMI) higher than 25.0 kg/m2, waist size more than 85 cm and hip size more than 100 cm was significantly higher among urban than rural women.

The risk was found to be more for waist size over 85 cm and hip size over 100 cm. Large body size at age 10 and increased BMI were associated with pre-menopausal risk of breast cancer.

The findings will be of significance to the breast cancer management programme in India.

The authors of this work are from: Regional Cancer Center, Trivandrum, India; Epidemiologic Research Center, Chennai, India; Rai Memorial Hospital, Chennai and International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.


  1. Mathew, A. et al. Anthropometric factors and breast cancer risk among urban and rural women in South India: a multicentric case–control study. Brit. J. Cancer 99, 207–213 (2008)