Is Your Full Figure an Increased Risk for Diabetes?

A new study suggest that women who have smaller breasts in their late teens and early 20s may enjoy a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. However, many doctors have cautioned that the results may have more to do with obesity than they do with breast size alone.

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Researchers surveyed more than 92,000 women with an average age of 38, asking each of the participants to recall her bra size at the age of 20.

Women who recalled having a D cup or larger had about three times the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Women who reported wearing B cup and C cup bras also experienced a higher risk than women who wore an A cup, even after figuring in age, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, eating habits, family history of diabetes, physical activity level and pregnancies.

The study lead investigator believes that the correlation has something to do with how breasts develop during puberty. Puberty is a period marked by raised insulin resistance. Just as breast development is both accelerated and more pronounced in obese girls, their levels of insulin resistance may be as well.

However, if that is the case, many experts question why they should abandon the tried-and-true methods of evaluating type 2 diabetes risk by calculating their BMIs and evaluating lifestyles.

ABC News January 28, 2008
Canadian Medical Association Journal January 29, 2008; 178(3): 313–315 (Free Full Text Article)

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