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Obesity, metabolic syndrome raises breast cancer-related death risks: Study

IANS May 14, 2024

A higher score of metabolic syndrome (MetS), defined as being obese along with high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, or abnormal cholesterol, can raise mortality risk among women suffering from breast cancer, according to a study on 13 May.

The findings, published by Wiley online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, indicate that MetS and obesity each have different associations with breast cancer subtypes and mortality risk.

The analysis was based on 63,330 postmenopausal without prior breast cancer, as well as normal entry mammograms and MetS scores (0-4). After a median follow-up of 23.2 years, there were 4,562 incident breast cancers and 659 deaths from breast cancer (breast cancer mortality).

Researchers found that a higher MetS score (3-4), regardless of obesity, raised the risk of poor prognosis, oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive, progesterone receptor (PR)-negative breast cancers, and a 44 per cent higher risk of breast cancer mortality.

On the other hand, obesity, regardless of MetS score, led to more good prognosis, ER-positive, and PR-positive cancers.

Only women with severe obesity had an elevated risk of death from breast cancer.

"Postmenopausal women with higher MetS scores are a previously unrecognised population at higher breast cancer mortality risk," said lead author Rowan T. Chlebowski, The Lundquist Institute in California, US.

Rowan noted that MetS scores can easily be determined during routine visits at any healthcare facility by checking "cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension history as well as waist circumference and blood pressure measurements," and can be treated.

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