Journal Article

Body Size Changes in Relation to Postmenopausal Breast Cancer among Women on Long Island, New York

Sybil M. Eng, Marilie D. Gammon, Mary Beth Terry, Lawrence H. Kushi, Susan L. Teitelbaum, Julie A. Britton and Alfred I. Neugut

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 162, issue 3, pages 229-237
Published in print August 2005 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online August 2005 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI:
Body Size Changes in Relation to Postmenopausal Breast Cancer among Women on Long Island, New York

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To examine effects of body size change on postmenopausal breast cancer, the authors conducted a population-based case-control study among 990 cases and 1,006 controls participating in the Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project in 1996–1997. Women who had gained more than 15 kg (33 pounds) since age 20 years were at a 1.6-fold increased risk of breast cancer (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.11, 2.26) relative to their counterparts with stable (±3 kg) weight. Subjects who had gained more than 11 kg (24 pounds) during the peri- and postmenopausal years (since age 50 years) had 1.62 times the risk of breast cancer of those whose weight remained unchanged during this time period. This effect of peri- and postmenopausal body size gain was present only among never users of hormone replacement therapy (odds ratio (OR) = 2.02 (95% CI: 1.35, 3.02) as opposed to 0.81 (95% CI: 0.43, 1.53) for ever users; multiplicative interaction: p < 0.01) and was more pronounced among women with estrogen receptor-positive/progesterone receptor-positive breast cancer (OR = 2.17, 95% CI: 1.38, 3.42). Weight loss over the lifetime was associated with decreased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer (OR = 0.55, 95% CI: 0.32, 0.96). These results add to the literature by focusing on the perimenopausal weight trajectory and support efforts urging women to avoid weight gain as they age.

Keywords: body size; body weight changes; breast neoplasms; menopause; perimenopause; postmenopause; women; CI, confidence interval; ER+/PR+, estrogen receptor-positive/progesterone receptor-positive; LIBCSP, Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project; OR, odds ratio

Journal Article.  6282 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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