Trajectories of body mass index in adulthood and risk of subtypes of postmenopausal breast cancer
AuthorBusund, Marit Katinka; Ursin, Giske; Lund, Eiliv; Wilsgaard, Tom; Rylander, Karin Charlotta Maria
Methods - Based on self-reported anthropometry in the prospective Norwegian Women and Cancer Study, we calculated the age at onset, duration, and intensity of overweight and obesity using linear mixed-effects models. BMI trajectories in adulthood were modeled using group-based trajectory modeling. We used Cox proportional hazards models to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the associations between BMI exposures and breast cancer subtypes in 148,866 postmenopausal women.
Results - A total of 7223 incident invasive postmenopausal breast cancer cases occurred during follow-up. Increased overweight duration and age at the onset of overweight or obesity were associated with luminal A-like breast cancer. Significant heterogeneity was observed in the association between age at overweight and overweight duration and the intrinsic-like subtypes (pheterogeneity 0.03). Compared with women who remained at normal weight throughout adulthood, women with a descending BMI trajectory had a reduced risk of luminal A-like breast cancer (HR 0.54, 95% CI 0.33–0.90), whereas women with ascending BMI trajectories were at increased risk (HR 1.09; 95% CI 1.01–1.17 for “Normal-overweight”; HR 1.20; 95% CI 1.07–1.33 for “Normal-obesity”). Overweight duration and weighted cumulative years of overweight and obesity were inversely associated with luminal B-like breast cancer.
Conclusions - In this exploratory analysis, decreasing body fatness from obesity in adulthood was inversely associated with overall, hormone receptor-positive and luminal A-like breast cancer in postmenopausal women. This study highlights the potential health benefits of reducing weight in adulthood and the health risks associated with increasing weight throughout adult life. Moreover, our data provide evidence of intrinsic-like tumor heterogeneity with regard to age at onset and duration of overweight.