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“A woman’s hip size is a marker of her oestrogen production. Wide, round hips represent markers of high sex hormone concentrations in the mother, which increase her daughter’s vulnerability to breast cancer,” lead researcher professor David Barker of Southampton University said.
In fact, the researchers came to the conclusion after studying the health of over 6,000 Finnish women born from 1934 to 1944 and comparing it with information on their mothers‘ hip size. The measurement used was the intercristal diameter the distance from hip bone to hip bone. According to the findings, a woman’s risk of breast cancer went up by 60% if her mother’s hips were more than 30 cm across.
The risk increased with hip size and with the length of time the baby was in the womb. Moreover, the researchers found that babies carried by wider-hipped women for the full 40 weeks of gestation or longer were 3.7 times more likely to develop breast cancer. And, adding the existence of elder siblings into the equation took the risk to more than seven-fold.