Washington D.C. [USA], Sep 12, 2017: So if you never gave a thought to the idea of getting rid of that middle-age abdominal fat, ladies, this is the right time to start, as a recent study suggests, abdominal fat is a key factor in driving cancer for postmenopausal women.
It is important to understand the difference between the body weight and body fat distribution, since the latter is more important when talking about the risk of cancer in postmenopausal women, according to the study presented at the ESMO 2017 Congress in Madrid.
Women in this age group, who are more vulnerable to abdominal weight gain, are now left with a new spin on their weight management priorities, as a result of the findings, said Line Maersk Staunstrup, the study investigator.
"When assessing cancer risk, body mass index (BMI) and fat percentage may not be adequate measures as they fail to assess the distribution of fat mass," she explained.
"Avoiding central obesity may confer the best protection," she added.
The findings are from the prospective Epidemiologic Risk Factor study. The study, which is observational in nature, is a prospective cohort study designed to understand the age-related diseases in Danish, postmenopausal women, in a better way.
The study included 5,855 postmenopausal women, with the mean age being 71, who went through baseline dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans to assess body fat and its composition, which have been followed for 12 years.
"The average elderly women can very much use this information, as it is known that the menopause transition initiates a shift in body fat towards the central trunk area. Therefore elderly women should be especially aware of their lifestyle when they approach the pre-menopause age," said Mærsk Staunstrup.
"Clinicians can additionally use the information for a preventive conversation with women who are in higher risk of cancer. While clinicians have access to whole body DXA scanners at most hospitals, portable DXA scanners have become available on the commercial market and this may allow regional bone and fat scanning, however it may not be the most reliable for measuring central obesity," she concluded.
-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha