Relation between insulin resistance and breast cancer among Chilean women

Ann Epidemiol. 2007 Jun;17(6):403-9. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2007.01.037.


Purpose: In Chile, diabetes and breast cancer are important public health problems. The association between insulin resistance and breast cancer, however, remains largely unexplored.

Methods: We conducted a case-control study to assess the relationship of insulin resistance (IR) and breast cancer in Chilean premenopausal and postmenopausal women. We compared 170 women, 33 to 86 years old, with incident breast cancer and 170 normal mammography controls, matched by 5-year age interval. Plasmatic insulin and glucose were measured and IR was calculated by the homeostasis model assessment method. Anthropometric measurements and sociodemographic and behavioral data were also collected. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated by multivariable conditional logistic regression.

Results: IR was independently associated with breast cancer in postmenopausal women (OR = 2.70, 95%CI = 1.10-6.63), but not in premenopausal women (OR = 0.84, 95%CI = 0.20-3.52). Obesity was not associated with breast cancer at any age (OR = 0.68, 95%CI = 0.39-1.20).

Conclusion: In this sample, IR increased the risk of breast cancer among postmenopausal women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Glucose
  • Body Weights and Measures
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chile / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproductive History
  • Socioeconomic Factors


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin