Body mass index (BMI) and breast cancer: Impact on tumor histopatologic features, cancer subtypes and recurrence rate in pre and postmenopausal women

Nicoletta Biglia, Elisa Peano, Paola Sgandurra, Giulia Moggio, Silvia Pecchio, Furio Maggiorotto, Piero Sismondi

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The study aims to analyze the association between body mass index (BMI) at time of diagnosis, breast cancer histopathologic features (tumor size, nuclear grade, estrogen and progesterone receptor (ER and PgR) and HER-2/neu expression, histological subtypes, Ki-67 index, lymphatic/vascular invasion, axillary nodes involvement) and incidence of different subtypes defined using hormone receptors and HER2/neu expression, according to menopausal status; to evaluate the impact of BMI on disease free survival (DFS) at multivariate analysis. A total of 2148 patients (592 premenopausal, 1556 postmenopausal) were classified into subgroups according to BMI distribution. High BMI was significantly associated with larger size tumor both in pre (p = 0.01) and postmenopausal women (p = 0.00). Obese premenopausal women showed worse histopathologic features (more metastatic axillary lymphnodes, p = 0.017 and presence of vascular invasion, p = 0.006) compared to under/normal weight group. Postmenopausal patients with BMI > 25 developed more frequently ER/PgR positive cancers (87% versus 75%, p 0.017), while no association was found in premenopausal women. We could not found any statistically significant correlation between breast cancer subtypes (luminal A, B, HER-2 and basal-like) and BMI both in pre and postmenopause. Higher BMI was significantly associated with a shorter DR-FS in postmenopausal women but the independent prognostic role of obesity was not confirmed in our analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-267
Number of pages5
JournalGynecological Endocrinology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013



  • Body mass index
  • Breast cancer
  • Estrogen receptor
  • Menopause

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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