Metabolic syndrome and the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women

V. Rosato, C. Bosetti, R. Talamini, F. Levi, M. Montella, A. Giacosa, E. Negri, C. La Vecchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Only a few small studies investigated the association between postmenopausal breast cancer and metabolic syndrome (MetS) as a single entity. Materials and methods: We analyzed the data of two Italian and Swiss case-control studies conducted between 1983 and 2007, including 3869 postmenopausal women with incident breast cancer and 4082 postmenopausal controls admitted to the same hospitals as cases for acute conditions. MetS was defined as the presence of at least three components among diabetes, drug-treated hypertension, drug-treated hyperlipidemia, and obesity. Results: The odds ratios (ORs) of postmenopausal breast cancer were 1.33 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09-1.62] for diabetes, 1.19 (95% CI 1.07-1.33) for hypertension, 1.08 (95% CI 0.95-1.22) for hyperlipidemia, 1.26 (95% CI 1.11-1.44) for body mass index ≥30 kg/m 2, and 1.22 (95% CI 1.09-1.36) for waist circumference ≥88 cm. The risk of postmenopausal breast cancer was significantly increased for women with MetS (OR = 1.75, 95% CI 1.37-2.22, for three or more MetS components, P for trend for increasing number of components <0.0001) and the risk was higher at older age (OR = 3.04, 95% CI 1.75-5.29, at age ≥70 years for three or more MetS components). Conclusions: This study supports a direct association between MetS and postmenopausal breast cancer risk.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbermdr025
Pages (from-to)2687-2692
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


  • Breast cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Hypertension
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Hematology


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