Association of body composition with odds of breast cancer by molecular subtype: analysis of the Mechanisms for Established and Novel Risk Factors for Breast Cancer in Nigerian Women (MEND) study

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Abstract

Background: The association between obesity and breast cancer (BC) has been extensively studied among US, European and Asian study populations, with often conflicting evidence. However, despite the increasing prevalence of obesity and associated conditions in Africa, the continent with the highest age-standardized BC mortality rate globally, few studies have evaluated this association, and none has examined in relation to molecular subtypes among African women. The current analysis examines the association between body composition, defined by body mass index (BMI), height, and weight, and BC by molecular subtype among African women. Methods: We estimated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for the association between measures of body composition and BC and molecular subtypes among 419 histologically confirmed cases of BC and 286 healthy controls from the Mechanisms for Established and Novel Risk Factors for Breast Cancer in Women of Nigerian Descent (MEND) case-control study. Results: Higher BMI (aOR: 0.79; 95% CI: 0.67, 0.95) and weight (aOR: 0.83; 95% CI: 0.69, 0.98) were associated with reduced odds of BC in adjusted models, while height was associated with non-statistically significant increased odds of BC (aOR: 1.07, 95% CI: 0.90, 1.28). In pre/peri-menopausal, but not post-menopausal women, both higher BMI and weight were significantly associated with reduced odds of BC. Further, higher BMI was associated with reduced odds of Luminal A, Luminal B, and HER2-enriched BC among pre/peri-menopausal women, and reduced odds of triple-negative BC among post-menopausal women. Conclusions: Higher BMI and weight were associated with reduced odds of BC overall and by molecular subtype among West African women. Larger studies of women of African descent are needed to definitively characterize these associations and inform cancer prevention strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1051
JournalBMC Cancer
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was specifically funded by National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, Fogarty International Center (K01TW010271, T.A.). The views expressed in this paper do not represent the views of the National Institutes of Health, H3Africa Consortium or their funders.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • BMI
  • Body composition
  • Breast cancer
  • Hormone receptor
  • Molecular subtype
  • Nigeria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research

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