Does body fat distribution promote familial aggregation of adult onset diabetes mellitus and postmenopausal breast cancer?

Thomas A. Sellers, J. Michael Sprafka, Susan M. Gapstur, Stephen S. Rich, John D. Potter, Julie A. Ross, Paul G. McGovern, Christine L. Nelson, Aaron R. Folsom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and postmenopausal breast cancer share a number of risk factors, including obesity, increased waist-to-hip ratio, and a positive family history. If risk for these diseases is mediated through a familial tendency for abdominal obesity, then one might expect to see familial clustering of both diseases. We analyzed data from a prospective cohort study of 41,837 Iowa women age 55–69 years. Diabetes was not associated with incidence of breast cancer [relative risk (RR) = 0.97]. The association between family history of breast cancer and breast cancer incidence, however, was slightly modified by individual history of diabetes: a positive family history of breast cancer in the absence of baseline diabetes was associated with a relative risk of 1.36 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.08–1.70], whereas the presence of both factors was associated with a RR of 1.87 (95% Cl = 0.93–3.76). Adjustment for waist-to- hip ratio greatly diminished this difference. Conversely, a family history of breast cancer was associated with a RR of 5-year diabetes mortality of 1.94 (95% Cl = 1.17–3.24) that persisted after stratification by tertile of waist-to-hip ratio. No clear association of family history of breast cancer and waist-to-hip ratio for self-reported diabetes incidence was evident. These data are indicative of a complex interrelation between waist-to-hip ratio, familial predisposition, diabetes, and breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-108
Number of pages7
JournalEpidemiology
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1994

Keywords

  • Body mass
  • Breast neoplasms
  • Cohort study
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Family history
  • Menopause

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    Sellers, T. A., Sprafka, J. M., Gapstur, S. M., Rich, S. S., Potter, J. D., Ross, J. A., McGovern, P. G., Nelson, C. L., & Folsom, A. R. (1994). Does body fat distribution promote familial aggregation of adult onset diabetes mellitus and postmenopausal breast cancer? Epidemiology, 5(1), 102-108. https://doi.org/10.1097/00001648-199401000-00015