Going up several skirt sizes in midlife could be a warning sign of increased cancer risk, research suggests.
Women who went up a skirt size every decade after their mid-20s had a 33% greater risk of breast cancer after the menopause, say researchers at University College London.
The research, published in BMJ Open, found that women who went up a size for each decade between their twenties and sixties increased their risk of developing breast cancer after the menopause by 33 per cent.
Those who went up by two sizes in the same period saw an increased risk of 77 per cent, according to the University College London study of more than 90,000 women.
The study tracked more than 90,000 women in their 50s and 60s living in England.
During the three-year follow-up period, 1,090 women developed breast cancer.
An expanding waistline has been linked to other cancers, including those of the pancreas, lining of the womb, and ovaries.
Three out of four women saw an increase in skirt size over the three decades, with an average gain of one size, from UK 12 to UK 14, the University of College London study found.
An increase of one skirt size per decade between the mid-20s and mid-50s could increase breast cancer risk by 33 per cent, the study suggests,
An increase of two skirt sizes per decade, between the mid-20s and mid-50s could increase breast cancer risk by 78 per cent.