Sweetened beverages raise endometrial cancer risk in postmenopausal women

Here is another reason to cut back on those sugary drinks. Earlier research has established that sweetened beverages are linked to host of health woes like obesity and diabetes.

Now, a new study claims that intake of sugary drinks can significantly increase the danger of a common type of endometrial cancer.

According to experts, over indulgence of sweetened beverages raises the risk of endometrial cancer (a malignancy that begins in the uterus and is sometimes called uterine cancer) in postmenopausal women.

The study found postmenopausal women who consumed the greatest quantity of sugary drinks exhibited a 78 percent higher threat of for estrogen-dependent type I endometrial cancer.

Lead author of the study, Maki Inoue-Choi, a research associate in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health stated, “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.

“Other studies have shown increasing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has paralleled the increase in obesity,” she added. “Obese women tend to have higher levels of estrogens and insulin than women of normal weight. Increased levels of estrogens and insulin are established risk factors for endometrial cancer.”

Impact of sweetened drinks on endometrial cancer assessed
In order to examine the impact of sweetened drinks on endometrial cancer the researchers analyzed data from more than 23,000 postmenopausal women who part of the Women’s Health Study.

The subjects were asked questions pertaining to their intake of different kinds of food in the previous 12 months. In addition, they were also asked to report their consumption frequency of sugary drinks.

The consumption of sugar-sweetened drinking patterns were classified into quintiles,(ranging from no intake to between 1.7 and 60.5 servings per week). Between 1986 and 2010, experts noted 506 type I and 89 type II endometrial cancers in the study group.

Outcome of the study
The analysis revealed women who drank more than four servings of sugary sodas a week elevated their risk for type 1 endometrial cancer by 78 percent. The danger of the malignancy was pronounced in women who were older, overweight and/or ailing from diabetes, late menopause or selected estrogen therapy. However, no association between type I or type II endometrial cancers and use of sugar-free soft drinks was perceived.

Though an association between sugar-sweetened beverages and endometrial cancer was evident, experts feel there is need for more research to substantiate the findings of the study.

“This needs to be replicated in other studies, but everyone should follow the current guidelines to avoid sugar-sweetened beverage intake, because it may increase the risk of other health conditions like obesity, diabetes heart disease and cancer,” Inoue-Choi said.

The study is published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.