5 years ago

Body fatness at a young age, body fatness gain and risk of breast cancer: systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies

C.-M. Yang, K. Hidayat, B.-M. Shi
Higher body fatness in adulthood has been consistently associated with an increased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, as well as a tendency towards a lower risk of premenopausal breast cancer. However, the association between body fatness at a young age (≤30 years), body fatness gain and the risk of breast cancer is less defined. PubMed and Web of Science databases were searched to identify relevant publications. Risk estimates with 95% confidence intervals from each study were transformed into a continuous variable for each 5 kg m−2 increase in body mass index (BMI) and were pooled under a random-effects model. Each 5 kg m−2 increase in BMI was significantly associated with a 14%, 12% and 17% lower risk of breast cancer later in life among all women, premenopausal women and postmenopausal women, respectively. Significant heterogeneity and publication bias were observed. The results remained unchanged after the trim and fill method was applied to correct the bias. Each 5 kg m−2 increase in BMI from a young age until cohort entry was significantly associated with a 13% and 14% higher risk of breast cancer in all women and postmenopausal women, respectively. In summary, higher body fatness at a young age may have a protective role in the later development of breast cancer in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women. However, this potential benefit should not be overemphasized, as our findings suggest that increased body fatness gain from a young age is positively associated with postmenopausal breast cancer risk. These findings further justify the need to maintain a steady weight throughout life.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/obr.12627

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