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Sugary Beverages May Increase Endometrial Cancer Risk

Endometrium In SituPostmenopausal women who drink sugary sodas and other beverages may have an increased risk of a common type of endometrial cancer compared to women who do not drink these beverages, according to a recent study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

The study included approximately 23,000 cancer-free postmenopausal who answered questions about what they ate and drink in 1986. From 1986 to 2010, 595 of the women had been diagnosed with endometrial cancer. Over 500 of those cases were a type fueled by estrogen (Type 1), the most common type of this cancer. The study split the women into groups depending upon how much sugary beverages they drank. They also looked at intake of fruit juice, sugar-free beverages, sweets/baked goods, and starch.

Compared to the women who drank no sugary beverages, the women in the group that reported drinking the highest amounts had a 78 percent increased risk for estrogen-dependent type I endometrial cancer. This link adjusted for the women's weight, physical activity, cigarette soaking, physical activity and other factors that can play a role in endometrial cancer risk. 

The study did not find any link between endometrial cancer and sugar-free soft drinks, sweets/baked goods, and starch.There was also no link with the beverages or foods and the non-estrogen dependent endometrial cancer.

AICR's latest Continuous Update Project report on endometrial cancer found that excess body fat and a high glycemic-load diet increases risk of this cancer; physical activity and coffee decreases risk. Sugary beverages increase the risk of overweight and obesity. The link in this study was independent of weight, and the authors hypothesize that it may relate to the insulin-raising potential of the beverages. More reserach is needed.

Sources: M. Inoue-Choi, K. Robien, A. Mariani, J. R. Cerhan, K. E. Anderson. "Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake and the Risk of Type I and Type II Endometrial Cancer among Postmenopausal Women." Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, 2013.

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