This site is intended for health professionals only

Wide hipped mothers increase daughter's risk cancer

Women whose mothers have wide, round hips have an increased risk of breast cancer, research suggests.

A study of 6,370 women found that those whose mothers had wide hips were three times more likely than those whose mothers had narrow hips to develop breast cancer.

This risk increased to seven times more likely to develop breast cancer if their mothers had already given birth to one or more children.

Experts say that wide hips are evidence of high concentrations of sex hormones, and predisposal to breast cancer is initiated in the first trimester of pregnancy when the embryo is exposed to the mother's sex hormones.

Babies exposed to a high level of sex hormones while in their mother's wombs have an increased risk of breast cancer.

Lead author David Barker "said: Our findings support the hypothesis that wide round hips reflect high levels of sex hormone production at puberty, which persist after puberty and adversely affect breast development of the daughters in early gestation."

Oregon Health and Science University