Sugar linked to endometrial cancer, a new study finds

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According to a new study, postmenopausal women who consumed sugar-sweetened beverages were 78 percent more likely to develop the most common type of endometrial cancer compared with women who didn’t drink sugar-sweetened beverages.

Researchers used data from 23, 039 postmenopausal women who reported dietary intake, demographic information, and medical history in 1986, prior to the cancer diagnosis, as part of the Women’s Health Study. Dietary intake was assessed using the Harvard Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ), which asked participants to report intake frequency of 127 food items in the previous 12 months.

The FFQ included four questions asking usual intake frequency of sugar-sweetened beverages, including 1) Coke®, Pepsi®, or other colas with sugar; 2) caffeine-free Coke®, Pepsi®, or other colas with sugar; 3) other carbonated beverages with sugar (7 -Up®); and 4) Hawaiian Punch®, lemonade, or other noncarbonated fruit drinks.

Because this study is the first to show the association between high sugar-sweetened beverage consumptions and endometrial cancer, replication in other studies needs to be done, according to Maki Inoue-Choi, Ph.D., M.S., R.D., who led this study as a research associate in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis.

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