Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 20, Issue 7, pp 1055–1060 | Cite as

Serum total cholesterol and the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal Korean women

Original Paper

Abstract

Objective

To evaluate an association between serum total cholesterol level and breast cancer risk, for which inconsistent findings have been reported in spite of the role of serum cholesterol as a precursor to a breast cancer-related sex steroid hormone.

Methods

Postmenopausal Korean women (= 170,374), categorized into four groups by quartiles of cholesterol level, were followed up for occurrence of breast cancer from 1993 to 2003. Relative risks were assessed by Cox proportional hazard analysis.

Results

A positive association between cholesterol level and breast cancer risk was found with 31% greater age-adjusted risk of breast cancer in the highest cholesterol group (≥5.95 mmol/l) than that in the lowest cholesterol group (<4.63 mmol/l). The strength of association was reduced slightly but persisted after the adjustment for reproductive and behavioral covariates. However, the association further attenuated and the positive trend was no longer significant when BMI was additionally adjusted (p-trend, 0.0684). Stratified analysis by BMI showed that the risk of breast cancer increased with increasing cholesterol level only in normal BMI (<25 kg/m2) group, but the interaction term was not significant.

Conclusion

Serum total cholesterol level is not associated with the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal Korean women.

Keywords

Body mass index Breast neoplasms Cholesterol Koreans Postmenopause 

References

  1. 1.
    Eliassen AH, Missmer SA, Tworoger SS et al (2006) Endogenous steroid hormone concentrations and risk of breast cancer among premenopausal women. J Natl Cancer Inst 98:1406–1415PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Missmer SA, Eliassen AH, Barbieri RL, Hankinson SE (2004) Endogenous estrogen, androgen, and progesterone concentrations and breast cancer risk among postmenopausal women. J Natl Cancer Inst 96:1856–1865PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hiatt RA, Friedman GD, Bawol RD, Ury HK (1982) Breast cancer and serum cholesterol. J Natl Cancer Inst 68:885–889PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hoyer AP, Engholm G (1992) Serum lipids and breast cancer risk: a cohort study of 5,207 Danish women. Cancer Causes Control 3:403–408. doi:10.1007/BF00051352 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Eliassen AH, Colditz GA, Rosner B, Willett WC, Hankinson SE (2005) Serum lipids, lipid-lowering drugs, and the risk of breast cancer. Arch Intern Med 165:2264–2271. doi:10.1001/archinte.165.19.2264 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gaard M, Tretli S, Urdal P (1994) Risk of breast cancer in relation to blood lipids: a prospective study of 31,209 Norwegian women. Cancer Causes Control 5:501–509. doi:10.1007/BF01831377 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kaye JA, Meier CR, Walker AM, Jick H (2002) Statin use, hyperlipidaemia, and the risk of breast cancer. Br J Cancer 86:1436–1439. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6600267 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Vatten LJ, Foss OP (1990) Total serum cholesterol and triglycerides and risk of breast cancer: a prospective study of 24,329 Norwegian women. Cancer Res 50:2341–2346PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Tornberg SA, Holm LE, Carstensen JM (1988) Breast cancer risk in relation to serum cholesterol, serum beta-lipoprotein, height, weight, and blood pressure. Acta Oncol 27:31–37. doi:10.3109/02841868809090315 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Li YH, Li Y, Davis CE et al (2002) Serum cholesterol changes from 1983–1984 to 1993–1994 in the People’s Republic of China. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 12:118–126PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sekikawa A, Kuller LH, Ueshima H et al (1999) Coronary heart disease mortality trends in men in the post World War II birth cohorts aged 35–44 in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan compared with the United States. Int J Epidemiol 28:1044–1049. doi:10.1093/ije/28.6.1044 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Okayama A, Ueshima H, Marmot MG, Nakamura M, Kita Y, Yamakawa M (1993) Changes in total serum cholesterol and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease in Japan 1980–1989. Int J Epidemiol 22:1038–1047. doi:10.1093/ije/22.6.1038 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Tominaga S, Kuroishi T (1999) Epidemiology and prevention of breast cancer in the 21st century. Breast Cancer 6:283–288. doi:10.1007/BF02966440 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Yoo KY, Kim Y, Park SK, Kang D (2006) Lifestyle, genetic susceptibility and future trends of breast cancer in Korea. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 7:679–682PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Seow A, Duffy SW, McGee MA, Lee J, Lee HP (1996) Breast cancer in Singapore: trends in incidence 1968–1992. Int J Epidemiol 25:40–45. doi:10.1093/ije/25.1.40 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Brown MS, Kovanen PT, Goldstein JL (1981) Regulation of plasma cholesterol by lipoprotein receptors. Science 212:628–635. doi:10.1126/science.6261329 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kovanen PT (1987) Regulation of plasma cholesterol by hepatic low-density lipoprotein receptors. Am Heart J 113:464–469. doi:10.1016/0002-8703(87)90615-6 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Friedenreich CM (2001) Review of anthropometric factors and breast cancer risk. Eur J Cancer Prev 10:15–32. doi:10.1097/00008469-200102000-00003 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hulka BS, Moorman PG (2001) Breast cancer: hormones and other risk factors. Maturitas 38:103–113. doi:10.1016/S0378-5122(00)00196-1 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Park YJ, Koo BS, Kang HC, Chun SH, Yoon JW (2001) The menopausal age and climacteric symptoms, and the related factors of Korean women. Korean J Women Health Nurs 7:473–485Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Song YM, Sung J, Kim JS (2000) Which cholesterol level is related to the lowest mortality in a population with low mean cholesterol level: a 6.4-year follow-up study of 482,472 Korean men. Am J Epidemiol 151:739–747PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    National Cancer Center (2007) Number of hospitals participating in Korea Central Cancer RegistryGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Wallace RB, Rost C, Burmeister LF, Pomrehn PR (1982) Cancer incidence in humans: relationship to plasma lipids and relative weight. J Natl Cancer Inst 68:915–918PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Beck P, Wysowski DK, Downey W, Butler-Jones D (2003) Statin use and the risk of breast cancer. J Clin Epidemiol 56:280–285. doi:10.1016/S0895-4356(02)00614-5 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Bonovas S, Filioussi K, Tsavaris N, Sitaras NM (2005) Use of statins and breast cancer: a meta-analysis of seven randomized clinical trials and nine observational studies. J Clin Oncol 23:8606–8612. doi:10.1200/JCO.2005.02.7045 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Boudreau DM, Yu O, Miglioretti DL, Buist DS, Heckbert SR, Daling JR (2007) Statin use and breast cancer risk in a large population-based setting. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 16:416–421. doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-06-0737 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Pocobelli G, Newcomb PA, Trentham-Dietz A, Titus-Ernstoff L, Hampton JM, Egan KM (2008) Statin use and risk of breast cancer. Cancer 112:27–33. doi:10.1002/cncr.23129 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Ferraroni M, Gerber M, Decarli A et al (1993) HDL-cholesterol and breast cancer: a joint study in northern Italy and southern France. Int J Epidemiol 22:772–780. doi:10.1093/ije/22.5.772 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Furberg AS, Veierod MB, Wilsgaard T, Bernstein L, Thune I (2004) Serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, metabolic profile, and breast cancer risk. J Natl Cancer Inst 96:1152–1160PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Preventive MedicineDankook University College of MedicineCheonanSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology, The Graduate School of Public Health and Institute of Health and EnvironmentSeoul National UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology and Cancer PreventionNational Cancer CenterGoyangSouth Korea
  4. 4.Department of Family Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, and Center for Clinical Research, Samsung Biomedical Research InstituteSungKyunKwan University School of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea

Personalised recommendations