Women who wait to have children later in life have a lower risk of developing endometrial cancer, a new study shows.
According to the Times of India, endometrial cancer strikes the endometrium, the tissue lining the uterus (womb), and is the most common gynecological cancer in the United States.
The study, "Age at Last Birth in Relation to Risk of Endometrial Cancer," found that Women who last give birth at age 40 or older have a 44 percent decreased risk of endometrial cancer when compared to women who have their last birth under the age of 25.
Veronica "Wendy" Setiawan, Ph.D., assistant professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School and lead author of the study, said in a statement, "While childbearing at an older age previously has been associated with a lower risk of endometrial cancer, the size of this study definitively shows that late age at last birth is a significant protective factor after taking into account other factors known to influence the disease — body weight, number of kids and oral contraceptive use."
According to MSNBC, Setiawan and other researchers reviewed data from 17 studies involving 8,671 women with endometrial cancer and 16,562 women without the disease.
The researchers could not come to a definitive conclusion as to why later pregnancy cut cancer risk, though Setiawan theorized it may be that hormone levels during pregnancy are beneficial in preventing cancer at older ages.
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