Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 181–191 | Cite as

Anthropometric characteristics and mammographic parenchymal patterns in post-menopausal women: a population-based study in Northern Greece

  • Elena RizaEmail author
  • Dionysios-Dennis Remoundos
  • Evangelia Bakali
  • Efi Karadedou-Zafiriadou
  • Dimitrios Linos
  • Athena Linos
Original Paper



To examine the effects of various anthropometric determinants on mammographic patterns at postmenopausal ages, accounting for reproductive differences.


Mammograms from 900 post-menopausal women classified into high- (P2/DY) versus low-density (N1/P1) groups using the Wolfe criteria were associated with changes in body figure, reported and measured height and weight, body mass index, hip, waist and chest circumferences, chest/hip ratio, waist/hip ratio (WHR), breast size, and leg length. Reproductive factors included ages at menarche, first pregnancy and menopause, years since menopause, parity, and breast feeding duration. The study was nested within a large cross-sectional survey of a population-based breast cancer screening program in Northern Greece.


Increasing chest circumference (p = 0.002), change in body build during adulthood to a heavier profile (p = 0.04), and heavy somatotype at age 18 (p = 0.007) were the anthropometric determinants significantly associated with low-density mammographic patterns.


Chest circumference as a measure of upper body fat adiposity appears to be a stronger determinant of mammographic patterns than body fat distribution (measured as WHR). A heavy body build in adulthood is associated with decreased mammographic density. Further studies are necessary to confirm our results, ideally prospective cohorts, looking at the effect of anthropometric determinants on mammographic pattern changes over time and breast cancer risk.


Mammographic parenchymal patterns Breast cancer Body build Chest circumference 



The authors would like to thank the women of Halkidiki for their willingness in participating in this study as well as all members of the staff of the screening Center “Our Lady Who Loves Mankind” in Ormylia-Halkidiki.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena Riza
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Dionysios-Dennis Remoundos
    • 3
  • Evangelia Bakali
    • 4
  • Efi Karadedou-Zafiriadou
    • 5
  • Dimitrios Linos
    • 6
  • Athena Linos
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and Population HealthLondon School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology & Medical StatisticsUniversity of Athens Medical SchoolGoudi, AthensGreece
  3. 3.3 Wycombe General Hospital, Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS TrustHigh WycombeUK
  4. 4.Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine—Reproductive SciencesUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK
  5. 5.Department of RadiologyHippocration HospitalThessalonikiGreece
  6. 6.1st Surgical Clinic, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Centre of Athens “Hygeia”AthensGreece

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