Overall adiposity was positively associated with overall breast cancer risk — specifically waist circumference with overall risk in premenopausal and postmenopausal women, according to an article published online in the journal Cancer.
Participants enrolled in the study from 2003 to 2009 included a total of 50,884 women in a Sister Study cohort (aged 35 to 74 years).
In order to be eligible to participate, the women must have had a sister previously diagnosed with breast cancer.
Results showed 2,009 breast cancer diagnoses were made during the follow-up period (mean=5.4 years). Overall breast cancer risk had positive associations with weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio.
Hazard ratios (HR) for these associations were greater among postmenopausal women, women with hormonally responsive tumors, and those not currently using postmenopausal hormones.
Furthermore, waist circumference correlations continued to be present after adjusting for BMI in both postmenopausal women (81-88 cm vs. ≤80 cm: HR = 1.16; 95% CI: 1.01, 1.35 and >88 cm vs. ≤80 cm: HR = 1.30; 95% CI: 1.10, 1.54) and premenopausal women (81-88 cm vs. ≤80 cm: HR = 1.56; 95% CI: 1.19, 2.04 and >88 cm vs. ≤80 cm: HR = 1.30; 95% CI: 0.91, 1.87).
Greater body mass index (BMI), a measure of overall adiposity, is associated with a higher risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. The role of central adiposity, often measured by waist circumference, is less well understood, especially among premenopausal women. The objective of the current study was to examine multiple measures of adiposity in relation to breast cancer in a prospective cohort study.