Skirt Size Can Predict Breast Cancer Risk, Says Annoying New Study

woman trying on dress looking in a mirror

As if we needed one more thing to worry about when it comes to everyday things that might be raising our risk of breast cancer, a new study published in the journal BMJ Open is zeroing in on women's skirt sizes. Yes, really.

More specifically, the research -- which looked at data from about 93,000 mostly overweight, postmenopausal women in the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer -- found that gaining weight puts women more at risk for breast cancer, because fat tissue triggers production of estrogen, which can feed the growth of breast tumors. And it's mainly fat around your waist that reflects your risk.

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Thus, in an attempt to make their message "easy to understand" for women (eye roll), the researchers measured waist thickness by the number on their subjects’ skirt tags. What they concluded was that an increase in skirt size was the single most predictive measure of breast cancer risk.

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When women went up a single skirt size over a 10-year span between their mid-20s and mid-60s, they were shown to have a 33 percent greater risk of developing breast cancer after menopause. Going up two skirt sizes was linked to a 77 percent chance risk.

Sounds alarming, sure, but the fact is that skirt sizing probably varied over the years -- something even the researchers acknowledge. Not to mention the differences in sizing from brand to brand and store to store! So clearly, the focus shouldn't be on the size of your clothes. And really, like we need another reason to beat ourselves up after a grueling session of trying on jeans or bathing suits -- and now skirts?! Ugh!

Sounds like women would just do well to zero in on staving off unwanted pounds -- and potentially risky hormone imbalance -- by staying fit and healthy. That's something that should help women reduce their risk of breast cancer in all different ways.

Do you think this study will influence how you feel about your skirt size?


Image via iStock.com/ariwasabi

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