Belly fat increases risk of breast cancer despite normal BMI, study finds

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By Linda Carroll

For decades, experts have warned middle- aged women that being overweight or obese could raise the risk of breast cancer. A healthy body mass index was thought to obliterate at least that risk factor.

But now, a new study shows that it’s not so simple, and that postmenopausal women who have belly fat, despite having a “normal” BMI, may be at increased risk for developing breast cancer. That study, which included only women with normal BMIs, found that those with the highest levels of fat in the truncal area had nearly twice the risk of developing invasive breast cancer compared with those with the least amount of fat.