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Breast cancer risk with gestational diabetes

Women who develop gestational diabetes have a 70% increased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer than women who have a normal pregnancy, a large cohort study suggests.

An analysis of records from almost 38,000 women who had one or more live births between 1964 and 1976 in Israel identified 1,500 who were later diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.

Women who experienced gestational diabetes in earlier life were 1.5 times more likely to develop breast cancer than women who had normal pregnancies and 1.7 times more likely when only considering cancers diagnosed after 50 years of age.

The findings suggest that gestational diabetes may be an important early marker of breast cancer risk among post-menopausal women, but these results need to be confirmed in future studies, say the authors.

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