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Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2013 Jul;6(7):701-10. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-12-0475. Epub 2013 May 16.

Metabolic syndrome and mammographic density in Mexican women.

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Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Metabolic syndrome has been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer; however, little is known about the association between metabolic syndrome and percent mammographic density, a strong predictor of breast cancer. We analyzed cross-sectional data from 789 premenopausal and 322 postmenopausal women in the Mexican Teacher's Cohort (ESMaestras). Metabolic syndrome was defined according to the harmonized definition. We measured percent density on mammograms using a computer-assisted thresholding method. Multivariable linear regression was used to estimate the association between density and metabolic syndrome, as well as its components by state (Jalisco, Veracruz) and menopausal status (premenopausal, postmenopausal). Among premenopausal women in Jalisco, women with metabolic syndrome had higher percent density than those without after adjusting for potential confounders including BMI [difference = 4.76; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.72-7.81]. Among the metabolic syndrome components, only low high-density lipoprotein levels (<50 mg/dL) were associated with significantly higher percent density among premenopausal women in Jalisco (difference = 4.62; 95% CI, 1.73-7.52). Metabolic syndrome was not associated with percent density among premenopausal women in Veracruz (difference = -2.91; 95% CI, -7.19 to 1.38), nor among postmenopausal women in either state. Metabolic syndrome was associated with higher percent density among premenopausal women in Jalisco, Mexico, but was not associated with percent density among premenopausal women in Veracruz, Mexico, or among postmenopausal women in either Jalisco or Veracruz. These findings provide some support for a possible role of metabolic syndrome in mammographic density among premenopausal women; however, results were inconsistent across states and require further confirmation in larger studies.

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