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HHS HealthBeat (July 20, 2012)

Lower weight, lower estrogen

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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Higher levels of the female hormone estrogen can raise the risk of breast cancer, because estrogen can spur the growth of some forms of tumors. But a study also indicates an estrogen-lowering benefit from weight control.

At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Anne McTiernan looked at data on 439 healthy overweight or obese postmenopausal women. Some did moderate exercise; others dieted moderately, exercised and dieted, or did nothing. McTiernan looked at their estrogen levels:

“We found the greatest effect in the group that had both diet and exercise, and we think that’s because they lost the most weight.”

The study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss

Last revised: July 19, 2012