Introduction: Inflammatory status may be an important prognostic factor for breast cancer. Correlates of markers of inflammation in breast cancer survivors have not been thoroughly evaluated.
Methods: Using data from, the Health, Eating, Activity, and Lifestyle (HEAL) Study (a population-based, multiethnic prospective cohort study of female breast cancer patients) we evaluated the associations between circulating markers of inflammation (C-reactive protein [CRP] and serum amyloid A [SAA], measured approximately 31 months after diagnosis) and several demographic, lifestyle, and clinical characteristics in 741 disease-free breast cancer survivors. Analysis of variance and regression methods were used for statistical analyses of log-transformed values of CRP and SAA.
Results: After adjusting for age, BMI, ethnicity, and study site, higher concentrations of CRP were associated with increasing concentration of SAA (P-trend < 0.0001), increasing age (P-trend < 0.0001), increasing BMI (P-trend < 0.0001), increasing waist circumference (P-trend < 0.0001), positive history of heart failure (P = 0.0007), decreasing physical activity (P-trend = 0.005), Hispanic ethnicity (P = 0.05 vs. non-Hispanic white), and current smoking (P = 0.03 vs. never smoking). Vitamin E supplementation (P = 0.0005), tamoxifen use (P = 0.008), and radiation treatment (compared to no chemotherapy or radiation; P = 0.04) were associated with reduced CRP. Associations of CRP with clinical characteristics were not significant in the adjusted models. In a multivariate analysis, CRP showed significant associations with waist circumference, BMI, age, history of heart failure, tamoxifen use, and vitamin E supplementation (R (2) = 0.35). Similar, yet fewer, associations were observed for SAA (R (2) = 0.19).
Conclusions: This study highlights important correlates of inflammatory status in breast cancer patients. Our results are consistent with those from similar studies of healthy women.