Association of lipid profile biomarkers with breast cancer by molecular subtype: analysis of the MEND study

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There is conflicting evidence on the role of lipid biomarkers in breast cancer (BC), and no study to our knowledge has examined this association among African women. We estimated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for the association of lipid biomarkers—total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and triglycerides—with odds of BC overall and by subtype (Luminal A, Luminal B, HER2-enriched and triple-negative or TNBC) for 296 newly diagnosed BC cases and 116 healthy controls in Nigeria. Each unit standard deviation (SD) increase in triglycerides was associated with 39% increased odds of BC in fully adjusted models (aOR: 1.39; 95% CI: 1.03, 1.86). Among post-menopausal women, higher total cholesterol (aOR: 1.65; 95% CI: 1.06, 2.57), LDL cholesterol (aOR: 1.59; 95% CI: 1.04, 2.41), and triglycerides (aOR: 1.91; 95% CI: 1.21, 3.01) were associated with increased odds of BC. Additionally, each unit SD increase in LDL was associated with 64% increased odds of Luminal B BC (aOR 1.64; 95% CI: 1.06, 2.55). Clinically low HDL was associated with 2.7 times increased odds of TNBC (aOR 2.67; 95% CI: 1.10, 6.49). Among post-menopausal women, higher LDL cholesterol and triglycerides were significantly associated with increased odds of Luminal B BC and HER2 BC, respectively. In conclusion, low HDL and high LDL are associated with increased odds of TN and Luminal B BC, respectively, among African women. Future prospective studies can definitively characterize this association and inform clinical approaches targeting HDL as a BC prevention strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10631
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge the role of the H3Africa Consortium in making this research possible though the sharing of data. The National Institutes of Health (USA) and Wellcome Trust (UK) have provided the core funding for the H3Africa Consortium. We thank the many MEND investigators who contributed substantially to the inception and design of the study, and the patients and families who participated in the MEND study for their vital contribution in advancing the science of cancer in Nigeria and globally. We acknowledge the important contribution of the MEND research nurses: Cordelia Ibeneme, Peju Olabanji, Rebecca Israel, Esther Akinwale, Deborah Awodeyi, and Shukurat Oduola.

Funding Information:
This research was specifically funded by National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, Fogarty International Center (K01TW010271, T.A.), and National Institutes of Health (NIH 1P30DK124723-01). The views expressed in this paper do not represent the views of the National Institutes of Health, H3Africa Consortium or their funders.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

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