Racial differences in mortality from obesity-related chronic diseases in US women diagnosed with breast cancer

Ethn Dis. Autumn 2004;14(4):463-8.


Objective: Previous studies have focused on racial differences in cancer-specific mortality among US women diagnosed with breast cancer. In view of rising prevalence rates of obesity and persistent racial differences in obesity in the United States, this study considered risk of death from obesity-related causes.

Methods: For 233,329 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 9 SEER areas in 1975-1995, all with at least 5 years of potential follow-up after diagnosis, Cox proportional hazards regression was used to analyze relative risks (RRs) of death (underlying cause) from 4 obesity-related chronic diseases (diabetes mellitus, hypertension, coronary heart disease or CHD, and cerebrovascular disease) for "White," "African-American," and "Asian-American" patients.

Results: RRs were statistically significantly higher for African Americans vs Whites for the 4 obesity-related causes, and for diabetes in Asian Americans vs Whites.

Conclusions: Interventions must be designed to address these racial disparities among women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Asian Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Breast Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / ethnology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Cause of Death*
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Diabetes Mellitus / ethnology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / mortality
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / ethnology*
  • Obesity / mortality*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk
  • United States / epidemiology