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BMC Cancer. 2016 Sep 29;16(1):761.

Weight and weight changes throughout life and postmenopausal breast cancer risk: a case-control study in France.

Author information

1
Cancer & Environment Group, Center for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health (CESP), INSERM, University Paris-Sud, University Paris-Saclay, Villejuif, France.
2
Centre Georges-François Leclerc, Côte d'Or Breast Cancer Registry, Dijon, France.
3
Centre Eugène Marquis, Rennes, France.
4
Cancer & Environment Group, Center for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health (CESP), INSERM, University Paris-Sud, University Paris-Saclay, Villejuif, France. pascal.guenel@inserm.fr.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Overweight and weight gain throughout adult life have been associated with increased risk of breast cancer after the menopause. However the role of body weight at a young age and of the timing of weight gain over the lifetime in postmenopausal breast cancer is not well documented.

METHODS:

We conducted a population-based case-control study on breast cancer in France that included 739 cases and 815 population controls in postmenopausal women. Height, weight at age 20, 40 and 50 as well as weight one year before diagnosis were obtained during in-person interviews.

RESULTS:

No association between body mass index at the age of 20 years and breast cancer after the menopause was detected. However, we found that postmenopausal breast cancer was associated with weight gain between ages 40 and 50 years (OR per 5 kg/m2 increase in BMI: 1.45 [95%ci 1.06-1.98]). The increased risk of breast cancer associated with weight gain was more consistent in leaner women at age 20, in older postmenopausal women (>65 years), and in women who did not use menopausal hormone therapy.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings point to the importance of controlling for weight gain in middle aged-women. The role of low body weight in young adulthood in breast cancer risk after the menopause should be further scrutinized.

KEYWORDS:

Body Mass Index; Breast Cancer; Case-control study; Weight Gain

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