skip to Main Content

Body size changes in relation to postmenopausal breast cancer among women on Long Island, New York

To examine effects of body size change on postmenopausal breast cancer, the authors conducted a population-based case-control study among 990 cases and 1,006 controls participating in the Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project in 1996-1997. Women who had gained more than 15 kg (33 pounds) since age 20 years were at a 1.6-fold increased risk of breast cancer (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.11, 2.26) relative to their counterparts with stable (+/-3 kg) weight. Subjects who had gained more than 11 kg (24 pounds) during the peri- and postmenopausal years (since age 50 years) had 1.62 times the risk of breast cancer of those whose weight remained unchanged during this time period. This effect of peri- and postmenopausal body size gain was present only among never users of hormone replacement therapy (odds ratio (OR) = 2.02 (95% CI: 1.35, 3.02) as opposed to 0.81 (95% CI: 0.43, 1.53) for ever users; multiplicative interaction: p < 0.01) and was more pronounced among women with estrogen receptor-positive/progesterone receptor-positive breast cancer (OR = 2.17, 95% CI: 1.38, 3.42). Weight loss over the lifetime was associated with decreased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer (OR = 0.55, 95% CI: 0.32, 0.96). These results add to the literature by focusing on the perimenopausal weight trajectory and support efforts urging women to avoid weight gain as they age.

Authors: Eng SM; Gammon MD; Terry MB; Kushi LH; Teitelbaum SL; Britton JA; Neugut AI

Am J Epidemiol. 2005 Aug 1;162(3):229-37. Epub 2005 Jun 29.

PubMed abstract

Explore all studies and publications

Back To Top