Body fat and breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women: A longitudinal study

Thomas E. Rohan, Moonseong Heo, Lydia Choi, Mridul Datta, Jo L. Freudenheim, Victor Kamensky, Heather M. Ochs-Balcom, Lihong Qi, Cynthia A. Thomson, Mara Z. Vitolins, Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, Geoffrey C. Kabat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Associations between anthropometric indices of obesity and breast cancer risk may fail to capture the true relationship between excess body fat and risk. We used dual-energy-X-ray-absorptiometry- (DXA-) derived measures of body fat obtained in the Women's Health Initiative to examine the association between body fat and breast cancer risk; we compared these risk estimates with those for conventional anthropometric measurements. The study included 10,960 postmenopausal women aged 50-79 years at recruitment, with baseline DXA measurements and no history of breast cancer. During followup (median: 12.9 years), 503 incident breast cancer cases were diagnosed. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models. All baseline DXA-derived body fat measures showed strong positive associations with breast cancer risk. The multivariable-adjusted HR for the uppermost quintile level (versus lowest) ranged from 1.53 (95% CI 1.14-2.07) for fat mass of the right leg to 2.05 (1.50-2.79) for fat mass of the trunk. Anthropometric indices (categorized by quintiles) of obesity (BMI (1.97, 1.45-2.68), waist circumference (1.97, 1.46-2.65), and waist: hip ratio (1.91, 1.41-2.58)) were all strongly, positively associated with risk and did not differ from DXA-derived measures in prediction of risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number754815
JournalJournal of Cancer Epidemiology
Volume2013
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Genetics

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    Rohan, T. E., Heo, M., Choi, L., Datta, M., Freudenheim, J. L., Kamensky, V., Ochs-Balcom, H. M., Qi, L., Thomson, C. A., Vitolins, M. Z., Wassertheil-Smoller, S., & Kabat, G. C. (2013). Body fat and breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women: A longitudinal study. Journal of Cancer Epidemiology, 2013, [754815]. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/754815