Postmenopausal women must try to keep their insulin levels normal by means of weight loss, regular exercise and other methods. Postmenopausal women with high insulin levels have an increased risk of developing breast cancer.

A report published in the International Journal of Cancer from Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in New York City noted a strong link between elevated insulin levels in the blood and increased risk of breast cancer. Evaluating data on 5,450 women who were a part of the Women’s Health Initiative, they noted that women with insulin levels in the highest third had double the likelihood of developing breast cancer compared to women in the bottom third.

The link between raised insulin levels and breast cancer was found to be more robust among thin women compared to obese women, who tend to have higher insulin levels. This is an important finding as it suggests that, in postmenopausal women, insulin may serve as a risk factor for breast cancer independent of obesity.