Increased incidence of breast cancer in postmenopausal women with high body mass index at the modena screening program

Federica Sebastiani, Laura Cortesi, Milena Sant, Valeria Lucarini, Claudia Cirilli, Elisabetta De Matteis, Isabella Marchi, Rossella Negri, Ennio Gallo, Massimo Federico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: We conducted a study to evaluate the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and the risk of breast cancer (BC) and outcome in a population of 14,684 women aged 55 to 69 years eligible to participate in the Mammography Screening Program (MSP) in the Province of Modena, Italy. Methods: The study population was drawn from women who underwent mammography screening between 2004 and 2006 in the Province of Modena. Women were subdivided into obese, overweight, and normal-weight categories according to BMI and followed until July 31, 2010, to evaluate the BC incidence. The clinicopathological characteristics of BC were also evaluated in different groups of patients classified according to BMI. After BC diagnosis, patients were followed for a median period of 65 (range, 2–104) months. Second events (recurrences and second tumors) were recorded, and the 5-year event-free survival (EFS) was calculated. Results: After a period of 73 months, 366 cases of BC were diagnosed. Compared with normal-weight women, obese women had a significantly higher incidence of BC (relative risk [RR], 1.32; p= 0.040) (RR=1), larger tumors (27% of tumors were larger than T2 size), and more nodal involvement (38.5% of tumors were node-positive). Furthermore, a significantly higher rate of total events was seen in obese women compared with overweight and normal-weight patients, respectively (17.9% vs. 11.4% vs. 10.8%, p=0.032). The 5-year EFS was 89.0%, 89.0%, and 80.0% for normal-weight, overweight, and obese patients, respectively. Conclusion: We observed a significantly higher risk of BC in obese women among those eligible to participate in the MSP in the Province of Modena. Finally, obese women had more second events and poorer EFS compared to nono bese women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-291
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Breast Cancer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Body mass index
  • Breast neoplasms
  • Mammography
  • Mass screening
  • Outcome assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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