Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 19, Issue 10, pp 1217–1226 | Cite as

Abstracting height and weight from medical records, and breast cancer pathologic factors

  • Archana J. McEligotEmail author
  • Theresa Im
  • Robert O. Dillman
  • John G. West
  • Rana Salem
  • Reina Haque
  • Hoda Anton-Culver
Original Paper


Cancer registries routinely collect data on clinicopathologic factors, but rarely abstract anthropometric variables. We conducted a chart review study, examining the feasibility of abstracting weight, height, alcohol use, and smoking from medical records in women (n = 1,974) diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, and investigated the association between the abstracted variables with clinicopathologic features. Qualitative data were reviewed and categorized. Frequencies of the abstracted data, and demographic and clinicopathologic variables were calculated. Logistic regression models measured the relationship between the outcome variables, tumor size, stage of disease, and estrogen/progesterone (ER/PR) status with the abstracted variables. Data on current alcohol-use/no-use, current-smoker/non-smoker, and height/weight data were obtained on 96%, 97%, and 88–89% of the participants, respectively. The multivariate analysis showed that overweight (≥25 kg/m2) women had significantly larger (≥2 cm) tumor size compared with normal weight for both women <50 years (OR = 1.79; 95% CI = 1.14–2.81; p ≤ 0.05) and for women ≥50 years at diagnosis (OR = 1.58; 95% CI = 1.19–2.09; p ≤ 0.05). These results suggest that abstracting current height and weight via medical records is feasible, and at minimum, current alcohol use and smoking status can be ascertained. In addition, being overweight was significantly associated with cancer clinicopathologic/prognostic factors, which has implications for monitoring etiologic factors that could be associated with cancer trends, incidence, and survival. Therefore routine collection of height and weight via cancer registries should be explored further.


Breast cancer Obesity Medical records Clinical pathology 



We thank Michelle Wong and Huong Dang for their technical assistance on this manuscript. Funding: National Institutes of Health [2 P30 CA 62203-04].


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Archana J. McEligot
    • 1
    Email author
  • Theresa Im
    • 2
  • Robert O. Dillman
    • 3
  • John G. West
    • 4
  • Rana Salem
    • 5
  • Reina Haque
    • 6
  • Hoda Anton-Culver
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Health ScienceCalifornia State University, FullertonFullertonUSA
  2. 2.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of California, IrvineIrvineUSA
  3. 3.Hoag Cancer CenterNewport BeachUSA
  4. 4.The Breast Care CenterOrangeUSA
  5. 5.Department of Rehabilitation MedicineUniversity of Washington Center on Outcomes Research in Rehabilitation, University of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  6. 6.Research and Evaluation Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program Southern CaliforniaPasadenaUSA

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