ABSTRACT: Race, Anthropometric Factors, and Stage at Diagnosis
of Breast Cancer
A recent study suggested that the greater prevalence of severe
obesity among African-American women explained almost one third
of the observed differences between African-American and White
women in stage at diagnosis of breast cancer.
The objective of
this investigation was to attempt to replicate these findings
in a second, larger population and to expand the analyses by
including a measure of body fat distribution, the waist:hip ratio.
The authors used data from a population-based study in North
Carolina comprising 791 breast cancer cases (302 in African-American
women and 489 in White women) diagnosed between 1993 and 1996.
African-American women were more likely to have later-stage (TNM
stage II) breast cancer (odds ratio (OR) = 2.2; 95% confidence
interval (CI): 1.6, 2.9). They also were much more likely to
be severely obese (body mass index 32.3) (OR = 9.7; 95% CI: 6.5,
14.5) and to be in the highest tertile of waist:hip ratio (OR
= 5.7; 95% CI: 3.8, 8.6).
In multivariate logistic regression
models, adjustment for waist:hip ratio reduced the odds ratio
for later-stage disease in African-American women by 20%; adjustment
for both waist:hip ratio and severe obesity reduced the odds
ratio by 27%.
These observations suggest that obesity and body
fat distribution, in addition to socioeconomic and medical care
factors, contribute to racial differences in stage at breast
Ann's NOTE: This study does not speak to healthy dietary plans-frutis and vegetables, olive oil, flaxseed oil, low salt, low sugar, whole grains may make the difference in health regardless of weight.
Cancer Causes and Control, 7/01
From Black Women's Health Study
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