Body mass index and breast cancer defined by biological receptor status in pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women: a multicenter study in China.PLoS One 2014; 9(1):e87224Plos
Few studies have investigated the association between body mass index (BMI) and breast cancer with consideration to estrogen/progesterone/human epidermal growth factor type 2 receptor status (ER/PR/HER2) in the breast tissue among Chinese pre- and post-menopausal women.
Four thousand two hundred and eleven breast cancer patients were selected randomly from seven geographic regions of China from 1999 to 2008. Demographic data, risk factors, pathologic features, and biological receptor status of cases were collected from the medical charts. Chi-square test, fisher exact test, rank-correlation analysis, and multivariate logistic regression model were adopted to explore whether BMI differed according to biological receptor status in pre- and post-menopausal women.
Three thousand two hundred and eighty one eligible cases with BMI data were included. No statistically significant differences in demographic characteristics were found between the cases with BMI data and those without. In the rank-correlation analysis, the rates of PR+ and HER2+ were positively correlated with increasing BMI among post-menopausal women (rs BMI, PR+=0.867, P=0.001; rs BMI, HER2+ =0.636, P=0.048), but the ER+ rates did not vary by increasing BMI. Controlling for confounding factors, multivariate logistic regression models with BMI<24 kg/m(2) as the reference group were performed and found that BMI ≥ 24 kg/m(2) was only positively correlated with PR+ status among post-menopausal breast cancer cases (adjusted OR=1.420, 95% CI: 1.116-1.808, Wald=8.116, P=0.004).
Post-menopausal women with high BMI (≥ 24 kg/m(2)) have a higher proportion of PR+ breast cancer. In addition to effects mediated via the estrogen metabolism pathway, high BMI might increase the risk of breast cancer by other routes, which should be examined further in future etiological mechanism studies.