A new study by researchers in the US has confirmed that obesity is linked to ovarian cancer.
In a study of almost 95,000 women, researchers found that among women aged 50 to 71, being obese increased the risk of the disease by almost 80 per cent.
A link between obesity and ovarian cancer was already known, but the new study provides confirmation of the association.
The study also highlights the way hormones play a role in the way body fat influences cancer risk.
The link was only seen in women who had never used hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after the menopause.
No link between body weight and ovarian cancer was evident among women who had been on HRT.
The new study supports the hypothesis that obesity may up ovarian cancer risk through hormonal effects.
"The observed relations between obesity and ovarian cancer risk have relevance for public health programmes aimed at reducing obesity in the population," the Independent quoted Dr Michael Leitzmann, from the US National Cancer Institute, as saying.
Researchers found that a total of 303 women in the study group developed ovarian cancer over a period of seven years. Among women who had never taken hormones after the menopause, obesity increased the risk of the disease by almost 80 per cent.
The study appears in the journal Cancer.