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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2011 Sep;129(2):565-74. doi: 10.1007/s10549-011-1468-4. Epub 2011 Apr 16.

Obesity and breast cancer survival in ethnically diverse postmenopausal women: the Multiethnic Cohort Study.

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  • 1Epidemiology Program, University of Hawaii Cancer Center, 1236 Lauhala Street, Honolulu, HI, 96813, USA. sconroy@cc.hawaii.edu

Abstract

Breast cancer survival has been found to be lower in obese women, but few studies have evaluated ethnic variations in this association. This study examined all-cause and breast cancer-specific survival by body mass index (BMI) in the Multiethnic Cohort (MEC) study for African American, Native Hawaiian, Japanese American, Latino, and Caucasian women. Female MEC participants free of breast cancer, aged ≥50 years at cohort entry, and diagnosed with primary invasive breast cancer during follow-up were included in the analyses (n = 3,842). Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate the effect of pre-diagnostic adult BMI (<22.5, 22.5-24.9, 25.0-29.9, ≥30 kg/m(2)) on the risk of mortality. Mean age at diagnosis was 68.8 years (range 50-89 years). During a mean follow-up of 6.2 ± 3.8 years after diagnosis, there were 804 deaths that included 376 breast cancer-specific deaths. After adjustment for breast cancer characteristics, including hormone receptor status, stage at diagnosis, and treatment, obese women had a higher risk of all-cause [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.54; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.23, 1.91] and breast cancer-specific (HR = 1.45; 95% CI: 1.05, 2.00) mortality compared to women with high-normal BMI; however, being overweight did not affect survival. There was no evidence of ethnic differences in the BMI effect on all-cause (P (interaction) = 0.87) or breast cancer-specific (P (interaction) = 0.63) mortality. Our findings are consistent with the literature that maintaining moderate weight throughout adult life may be beneficial for breast cancer survival in women and this appears to hold for all ethnic groups.

PMID:
21499688
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3164157
Free PMC Article
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