Cardiometabolic factors and breast cancer risk in U.S. black women

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012 Aug;134(3):1247-56. doi: 10.1007/s10549-012-2131-4. Epub 2012 Jun 19.


Previous studies have suggested that metabolic syndrome may be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, particularly in postmenopausal women, but U.S. black women have not been assessed. We examined the associations of abdominal obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol individually and in combination with breast cancer incidence in the Black Women's Health Study. By means of Cox regression models, we estimated incidence rate ratios (IRR) and 95 % confidence intervals (CI) for the associations of baseline and time-dependent values of self-reported abdominal obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol with breast cancer incidence. During 516,452 person years of follow-up (mean years = 10.5; standard deviation = 2.9) from 1995 to 2007, 1,228 breast cancer cases were identified. After adjustment for age, education, body mass index at age 18, physical activity, and individual cardiometabolic factors, neither individual nor combinations of cardiometabolic factors were associated with breast cancer incidence overall; the multivariable IRR was 1.04 (95 % CI 0.86-1.25) for the combination of ≥3 factors relative to the absence of all factors, and 1.17 (0.85-1.60) for having all four factors. Among postmenopausal women, however, the comparable IRRs were 1.23 (0.93-1.62) and 1.63 (1.12-2.37), respectively. Our findings provide some support for an association between cardiometabolic factors and breast cancer incidence among postmenopausal U.S. black women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans*
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult