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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1998 Aug;179(2):430-7.

Elevated high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and dietary fat intake in women with cyclic mastopathy.

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Department of Medicine, St. Michael's Hospital, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



This study was designed to examine the contribution of plasma lipids to the pathophysiology of cyclic mastopathy, before and after consideration of diet and sex hormones.


Thirty-four women with severe cyclic mastopathy (case patients) and 29 women without cyclic mastopathy (control subjects) recorded their breast symptoms daily during 1 menstrual cycle. During each menstrual phase (follicular, early luteal, late luteal, and menstrual) they prospectively completed 2 24-hour dietary diaries, provided blood for lipid and hormone assays, and underwent anthropometric measurements.


Mean age was 34 years. Premenstrual breast swelling and tenderness were significantly more severe in case patients (P < .0001). Cyclic change (late luteal vs follicular) of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol differed between case patients and control subjects, with case patients having a relative excess of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the premenstrual phase (P = .01). Dietary fat intake was greater throughout the cycle in case patients (37.5 vs 33.7% of calories, P = .02), and case patients reported increased appetite in the premenstrual phase (P = .01). In multivariate analyses the contributions of mean dietary fat intake and of cyclic change in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were independently significant, with odds ratios for upper versus lower quintiles being slightly >5.


Women with cyclic mastopathy had a relative excess of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol during the symptomatic late luteal phase of the menstrual cycle and a higher fat intake throughout the cycle than did control subjects. These observations support the hypothesis that lipids (notably high-density lipoprotein cholesterol) and a high-fat diet play a role in the pathophysiologic characteristics of cyclic mastopathy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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