Harvard Women's Health Watch

Sodas linked to endometrial cancer

Women who regularly drink sodas and other sugary drinks may be at higher risk for the most common type of endometrial cancer, finds a study published online Nov. 22, 2013, in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. The study looked at sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among more than 23,000 postmenopausal women. The more sugary drinks (except for fruit juice) women consumed, the more their cancer risk increased. Women who drank the most sugar-sweetened beverages were 72% more likely to get type I endometrial cancer—a kind of uterine cancer caused by excess estrogen—compared with women who drank the least amount of these beverages. Sugar-free drinks didn't seem to influence endometrial cancer risk. Only one other study has looked at the link between sugar-sweetened drinks and endometrial cancer, so there is more research to be done before any cause-and-effect relationship can be proven. But the finding isn't surprising, given that endometrial cancer is associated with obesity, and sweet drinks are major contributors to weight gain. This study provides one more reason to cut back on sugar-sweetened soft drinks.

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