Obesity and weight change in relation to breast cancer survival

Xiaoli Chen, Wei Lu, Wei Zheng, Kai Gu, Zhi Chen, Ying Zheng, Xiao Ou Shu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


The authors evaluated the prognostic effects of obesity and weight change after breast cancer diagnosis. A total of 5042 breast cancer patients aged 20-75 were identified through the population-based Shanghai Cancer Registry approximately 6 months after cancer diagnosis and recruited into the study between 2002 and 2006. Participants were followed by in-person interviews supplemented by record linkage with the Shanghai Vital Statistics Registry database. Anthropometric measurements were taken, and information on sociodemographic, clinical, and lifestyle factors was collected through in-person interviews. During the median follow-up of 46 months, 442 deaths and 534 relapses/breast cancer-specific deaths were documented. Women with body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 at diagnosis had higher mortality than women with 18.5 BMI < 25; the multivariate-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) were 1.55 (95% confidence interval (95% CI): 1.10-2.17) for total mortality and 1.44 (95% CI: 1.02-2.03) for relapse/disease-specific mortality. Similar results were found for pre- and post-diagnostic obesity. Women who gained ≥ 5 kg or lost >1 kg had higher mortality than those who maintained their weight. No association was observed between waist-to-hip ratio and mortality. Our study suggests that obesity and weight change after diagnosis are inversely associated with breast cancer prognosis. Weight control is important among women with breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)823-833
Number of pages11
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Body mass index
  • Breast cancer
  • Central obesity
  • Survival
  • Weight change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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