People who regularly use chemical hair straighteners could increase their risk of uterine cancer, a new study has found.

The large-scale study, from the US National Institute of Environmental Health Safety (NIEHS) and published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute,

Found that 4.05 per cent of women who use hair straighteners, such as relaxers, would develop uterine cancer by the age of 70 compared to 1.64 per cent of women who have never used hair straighteners.

In the UK, uterine cancer is the fourth most common form of cancer for women and accounts for 5 per cent of all new cancer cases in females and 3 per cent of all new cancer cases for men and women combined.

In total, there are around 9,700 new cases of uterine cancer diagnosed in the UK each year, according to Cancer Research.

The link between hair straightening products and uterine cancer came after researchers looked at data from 33,947 women between the ages of 35 to 74.

These women were tracked across a period of 11 years and, of the group, 378 women developed uterine cancer.

After accounting for other risk factors, the researchers concluded that the odds of developing uterine cancer doubled for women who had used hair straightening products more than four times in the past 12 months.