Physical activity, body mass index, and mammographic density in postmenopausal breast cancer survivors

Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Journal of Clinical Oncology (Impact Factor: 17.88). 04/2007; 25(9):1061-6. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2006.07.3965
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To investigate the association between physical activity, body mass index (BMI), and mammographic density in a racially/ethnically diverse population-based sample of 522 postmenopausal women diagnosed with stage 0-IIIA breast cancer and enrolled in the Health, Eating, Activity, and Lifestyle Study.
We collected information on BMI and physical activity during a clinic visit 2 to 3 years after diagnosis. Weight and height were measured in a standard manner. Using an interview-administered questionnaire, participants recalled the type, duration, and frequency of physical activities they had performed in the last year. We estimated dense area and percentage density as a continuous measure using a computer-assisted software program from mammograms imaged approximately 1 to 2 years after diagnosis. Analysis of covariance methods were used to obtain mean density across WHO BMI categories and physical activity tertiles adjusted for confounders.
We observed a statistically significant decline in percentage density (P for trend = .0001), and mammographic dense area (P for trend = .0052), with increasing level of BMI adjusted for potential covariates. We observed a statistically significant decline in mammographic dense area (P for trend = .036) with increasing level of sports/recreational physical activity in women with a BMI of at least 30 kg/m2. Conversely, in women with a BMI less than 25 kg/m2, we observed a non-statistically significant increase in mammographic dense area and percentage density with increasing level of sports/recreational physical activity.
Increasing physical activity among obese postmenopausal breast cancer survivors may be a reasonable intervention approach to reduce mammographic density.

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