Sugary beverages double endometrial cancer risk in postmenopausal women
Washington – A new study has found that postmenopausal women who consumed sugar-sweetened beverages were more likely to develop endometrial cancer compared with women who did not drink such beverages.
Postmenopausal women who reported the highest intake of sugar-sweetened beverages had a 78 percent increased risk for estrogen-dependent type I endometrial cancer.
This association was found in a dose-dependent manner: the more sugar-sweetened beverages a woman drank, the higher her risk.
“Although ours is the first study to show this relationship, it is not surprising to see that women who drank more sugar-sweetened beverages had a higher risk of estrogen-dependent type I endometrial cancer but not estrogen-independent type II endometrial cancer,” said lead author Maki Inoue-Choi, research associate in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis, said.
Inoue-Choi and colleagues used data from 23,039 postmenopausal women who reported dietary intake, demographic information, and medical history in 1986, prior to the cancer diagnosis, as part of the Iowa Women’s Health Study.
Dietary intake was assessed using the Harvard Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ), which asked study participants to report intake frequency of 127 food items in the previous 12 months. A typical portion size for each food item was provided to give study participants a sense of scale.
As reported in the study, the FFQ included four questions asking usual intake frequency of sugar-sweetened beverages, including 1) Coke, Pepsi, or other colas with sugar; 2) caffeine-free Coke, Pepsi, or other colas with sugar; 3) other carbonated beverages with sugar (e.g., 7-Up); and 4) Hawaiian Punch, lemonade, or other noncarbonated fruit drinks.
The “sweets and baked goods” category comprised 13 items in the FFQ, including chocolate, candy bars, candy without chocolate, cookies (home-baked and ready-made), brownies, doughnuts, cakes (home-baked and ready-made), sweet rolls, coffeecakes or other pastries (home-baked and ready-made), and pies (home-baked and ready-made).
The study is published in journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.