(HealthDay News) – Women with hormone receptor-positive operable breast cancer have reduced survival if they are obese, according to a study published online Aug. 27 in Cancer.

In an effort to examine whether body mass index (BMI) was associated with outcomes in operable breast cancer patients without other significant health issues, Joseph A. Sparano, MD, from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY, and colleagues analyzed data from 3 adjuvant trials coordinated by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (E1199, E5188, and E3189). Similar percentages of patients were normal weight, overweight, and obese.

The researchers found that, for the 4,770 patients in trial E1199, when BMI was assessed as a continuous variable, increasing BMI within the ranges for obese and overweight correlated with significantly inferior disease-free and overall survival outcomes for hormone receptor-positive, human epidermal growth receptor 2 (HER-2)/neu-negative disease. This was not the case for HER-2/neu-overexpressing disease or triple-negative disease. When assessed as a categorical variable, obesity correlated with inferior disease-free and overall survival (hazard ratio, 1.24 and 1.37, respectively) in hormone receptor-positive disease, but not in other subtypes. Results from the other 2 trials were similar.

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“In a clinical trial population that excluded patients with significant comorbidities, obesity was associated with inferior outcomes specifically in patients with hormone receptor-positive operable breast cancer treated with standard chemohormonal therapy,” Sparano and colleagues conclude.

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