Body size and survival in premenopausal breast cancer

Br J Cancer. 1985 May;51(5):691-7. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1985.104.


The survival experience of 582 women with premenopausal breast cancer was examined to determine whether prognosis was related to body size or to demographic and reproductive factors. During the follow-up period 228 patients died and 18 emigrated or were lost to follow-up. Usual body weight, reported at the time of diagnosis, was a strong predictor of survival, with a statistically significant trend towards lower survival with increasing weight. Height and obesity (Quetelet index) were not significantly related to survival, although the tallest women and the most obese women appeared to fare worst. Other characteristics of prognostic importance were disease stage and reproductive history (women who were older when their first child was born fared better). Women aged 46-50 when diagnosed also appeared more likely to survive but no clear trend with age was evident. Other characteristics of the women including social class, cigarette use and oral contraceptive use were not significantly related to survival probability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Height*
  • Body Weight*
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis