Weight change in middle adulthood and breast cancer risk in the EPIC-PANACEA study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Long-term weight gain (i.e., weight gain since age 20) has been related to higher risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, but a lower risk of premenopausal breast cancer. The effect of weight change in middle adulthood is unclear. We investigated the association between weight change in middle adulthood (i.e., women aged 40-50 years) and the risk of breast cancer before and after the age of 50. We included female participants of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort, with information on anthropometric measures at recruitment and after a median follow-up of 4.3 years. Annual weight change was categorized using quintiles taking quintile 2 and 3 as the reference category (-0.44 to 0.36 kg/year). Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was used to examine the association. 205,723 women were included and 4,663 incident breast cancer cases were diagnosed during a median follow-up of 7.5 years (from second weight assessment onward). High weight gain (Q5: 0.83-4.98 kg/year) was related to a slightly, but significantly higher breast cancer risk (HRQ5_versus_Q2/3: 1.09, 95% CI: 1.01-1.18). The association was more pronounced for breast cancer diagnosed before or at age 50 (HRQ5_versus_Q2/3: 1.37, 95% CI: 1.02-1.85). Weight loss was not associated with breast cancer risk. There was no evidence for heterogeneity by hormone receptor status. In conclusion, high weight gain in middle adulthood increases the risk of breast cancer. The association seems to be more pronounced for breast cancer diagnosed before or at age 50. Our results illustrate the importance of avoiding weight gain in middle adulthood.

Details

Authors
  • Marleen J. Emaus
  • Carla H. van Gils
  • Marije F. Bakker
  • Charlotte N. Steins Bisschop
  • Evelyn M. Monninkhof
  • H. B(as) Bueno-de-Mesquita
  • Noemie Travier
  • Tina Landsvig Berentzen
  • Kim Overvad
  • Anne Tjonneland
  • Isabelle Romieu
  • Sabina Rinaldi
  • Veronique Chajes
  • Marc J. Gunter
  • Francoise Clavel-Chapelon
  • Guy Fagherazzi
  • Sylvie Mesrine
  • Jenny Chang-Claude
  • Rudolf Kaaks
  • Heiner Boeing
  • Krasimira Aleksandrova
  • Antonia Trichopoulou
  • Androniki Naska
  • Philippos Orfanos
  • Domenico Palli
  • Claudia Agnoli
  • Rosario Tumino
  • Paolo Vineis
  • Amalia Mattiello
  • Tonje Braaten
  • Kristin Benjaminsen Borch
  • Eiliv Lund
  • Virginia Menendez
  • Maria-Jose Sanchez
  • Carmen Navarro
  • Aurelio Barricarte
  • Pilar Amiano
  • Malin Sund
  • Anne Andersson
  • Kay-Tee Khaw
  • Nick Wareham
  • Ruth C. Travis
  • Elio Riboli
  • Petra H. M. Peeters
  • Anne M. May
Organisations
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology

Keywords

  • breast cancer, adult weight gain, menopausal status, estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2887-2899
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Volume135
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes