Association of overweight with breast cancer survival

Meng Hua Tao, Xiao Ou Shu, Xian Ruan Zhi, Yu Tang Gao, Wei Zheng

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69 Scopus citations


The authors investigated the association between overweight at the time of or soon after cancer diagnosis and survival in a cohort of 1,455 breast cancer patients aged 25-64 years. The patients were recruited into the Shanghai Breast Cancer Study (Shanghai, China), a population-based case-control study, between August 1996 and March 1998. The median follow-up time for this cohort was 5.1 years (1996-2002) after breast cancer diagnosis, and 240 deaths were identified. Being overweight at cancer diagnosis or soon afterward, as measured by body mass index (BMI; weight (kg)/height (m) 2), was associated with poorer overall survival and disease-free survival. Five-year survival rates were 86.5%, 83.8%, and 80.1% for subjects whose BMIs were <23.0, 23.0-24.9, and ≥25.0, respectively (p = 0.02); the corresponding 5-year disease-free survival rates were 81.9%, 78.1%, and 76.6% (p = 0.05). The inverse association between BMI and survival persisted after adjustment for age at diagnosis and other known prognostic factors for breast cancer, including disease stage. The authors found neither waist:hip ratio nor waist circumference to be independently associated with overall survival or disease-free survival. These results suggest that excess weight may be an independent predictor of breast cancer survival among Chinese women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-107
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Body mass index
  • Body weight
  • Breast neoplasms
  • Mortality
  • Survival
  • Waist-hip ratio


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