Women whose mothers have wide hips could be seven times more likely to develop breast cancer, researchers have warned.
A study of thousands of women has revealed a clear link between the two. In general, daughters of women with wide hips are 60 per cent more likely than others to be diagnosed with breast cancer, which claims the lives of more than 1,000 British women a month.
But the risk rises to more than seven-fold if the mother carried them for the full 40 weeks of pregnancy and if they have older siblings.
Researcher Professor David Barker said the phenomenon can be explained by the effect of oestrogen and could eventually lead to a drug to prevent breast cancer.
It is thought that high levels of the hormone in a woman's blood at the start and end of pregnancy cause dangerous changes to the immature breast tissue in the developing baby. The width of a women's hips is directly related to the amount of oestrogen she is producing - and so the amount her unborn baby is exposed to.
Prof Barker, of Southampton University, an internationallyrenowned medical researcher, said: "A women's hip size is a marker of her oestrogen production. Wide, round hips represent markers of high sex hormone concentrations in the mother, which increase her daughter's vulnerability to breast cancer."
Source - Daily Mail