Body size, weight change, fat distribution and breast cancer risk in Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2007 Mar;102(1):85-101. doi: 10.1007/s10549-006-9292-y.


Introduction: The incidence of breast cancer varies among women living in the Southwestern part of the US. We evaluate how body size influences breast cancer risk among these women.

Methods: Cases (n = 2,325) diagnosed with breast cancer between October 1, 1999 and May 2004 residing in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, or Utah were matched to controls (n = 2,525). Participants were interviewed; height, weight, waist, and hip circumference were measured at the time of interview; blood was drawn.

Results: A large body mass index (BMI) at age 15 was inversely associated with pre-menopausal breast cancer risk in both non-Hispanic white (NHW) and Hispanic women (Odds ratio, ORs 0.68 95% CI 0.44, 1.04, and 0.65 95% CI 0.39, 1.08, respectively); BMI at age 15 also had an impact on subsequent breast cancer associated with obesity after menopause. Among post-menopausal women, recent exposure to hormones was an important modifier of risk associated with body size. Among women not recently exposed to hormones risk associated with obesity was 1.61 (95% CI 1.05, 2.45) for NHW women; gaining > or = 25 kg between 15 and age 50 was inversely associated with breast cancer among Hispanic women (OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.23, 1.14). A large weight gain and a large waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) was associated with an increased odds of having an estrogen receptor negative tumor among NHW only (OR 1.81, 95% CI 1.07, 3.08, and 2.04 95% CI 1.20,3.50).

Conclusions: These findings suggest that the metabolic consequences of obesity on breast cancer risk differ between NHW and Hispanic women living in the Southwest.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / anatomy & histology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Size*
  • Body Weight*
  • Breast Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Breast Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Breast Neoplasms / etiology*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptors, Estrogen / analysis
  • Risk Factors


  • Receptors, Estrogen