Visceral adiposity increases the risk of breast cancer: a case-control study

Nutr Hosp. 2018 Jun 10;35(3):576-581. doi: 10.20960/nh.1441.


Introduction: in recent decades, lifestyle changes in women involving physical inactivity, insulin resistance and body fat distribution have been associated with an increase in breast cancer.

Objective: to assess whether insulin resistance, lipid profile, and visceral adiposity are associated with increased risk of breast cancer.

Methods: a hospital-based case control study was conducted with 116 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer and 226 controls. Body mass index, waist circumference, total cholesterol, high-density lipoproteins (HDL), low-density lipoproteins (LDL), very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL), triglycerides, glycated hemoglobin, HOMA-IR, HOMA-β, lipid accumulation product (LAP), and visceral adiposity index (VAI) were assessed. Logistic regression was adjusted for body mass index and age to quantify the association between breast cancer risk and insulinresistance, dyslipidemias, and visceral adiposity.

Results: the case group had higher insulin resistance (p < 0.001), LAP (p = 0.012), and VAI (p = 0.004), and lower concentrations of HDL (p = 0.024) and HOMA-β(p = 0.010) compared to the control. Insulin resistance (OR = 3.00, 95% CI: 1.75-5.17, p < 0.001) and higher VAI (OR = 1.91, 95% CI: 1.17-3.13, p = 0.01) were associated with breast cancer, whereas the highest concentration of HDL reduces the chances of cancer by 53% (95% CI: 0.32-0.86, p = 0.026). In the multivariate analysis, only LAP and VAI were associated to breast cancer.

Conclusions: visceral fat accumulation increases the risk of breast cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Body Mass Index
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat*
  • Lipid Accumulation Product
  • Lipids / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity, Abdominal
  • Risk Factors


  • Lipids