Bigger Breasted Women More Vulnerable to Diabetes, Says Canadian Study

| Feb 4, 2008

A Canadian study asserts that girls and young women with big breasts run a 68-percent greater chance of acquiring diabetes by middle age than their smaller-breasted peers.

However, concerned that the finding might inspire some women to seek out breast reductions, researchers emphasize that their conclusion is broad and preliminary. They say there are several other factors besides breast size that they must study before definitively linking size to increased vulnerability to diabetes.

Scientists tracked 92,102 mostly white nurses from 14 U.S. states over a 10-year period to determine if their breast size would increase their chances for developing diabetes by age 35. While preliminarily concluding that large breasts were a common factor in the higher incidence of diabetes, they say weight, family history, smoking, diet and ethnicity probably also play large roles.

The reason for breast size as a factor is that breast tissue tends to be insulin-resistant. Bigger breasts create more insulin resistance in women's bodies, thereby increasing their chances of acquiring diabetes.

The researchers also note that while big breasts can be a genetic endowment, many women acquire them if they become obese - and obesity is often cited as a major factor in developing diabetes.

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Source: Canadian Medical Association Journal

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