Obesity/weight gain and breast cancer risk: Findings from the Japan collaborative cohort study for the evaluation of cancer risk

Sadao Suzuki, Masayo Kojima, Shinkan Tokudome, Mitsuru Mori, Fumio Sakauchi, Kenji Wakai, Yoshihisa Fujino, Yingsong Lin, Shogo Kikuchi, Koji Tamakoshi, Akiko Tamakoshi, Yutaka Motohashi, Ichiro Tsuji, Yosikazu Nakamura, Hiroyasu Iso, Haruo Mikami, Michiko Kurosawa, Yoshiharu Hoshiyama, Naohito Tanabe, Shuji HashimotoYasuhiko Wada, Takashi Kawamura, Yoshiyuki Watanabe, Kotaro Ozasa, Tsuneharu Miki, Chigusa Date, Kiyomi Sakata, Yoichi Kurozawa, Akira Shibata, Naoyuki Okamoto, Hideo Shio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Background: We analyzed data from the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study (36 164 women aged 40-79 years at baseline in 1988-1990 with no previous diagnosis of breast cancer and available information on weight and height) to examine the association between baseline body mass index (BMI)/weight gain from age 20 years and breast cancer risk in a non-Western population. Methods: The participants were followed prospectively from enrollment until 1999-2003 (median follow-up: 12.3 years). During follow-up, breast cancer incidence was mainly confirmed through record linkage to population-based cancer registries. A Cox proportional hazards model was used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for the association between breast cancer risk and body size. Results: In 397 644.1 person-years of follow-up, we identified 234 breast cancer cases. Among postmenopausal women, the adjusted HR increased with BMI, with a significant linear trend (P < 0.0001). Risk was significantly increased among women with a BMI of 24 or higher (HR: 1.50, 95% CI: 1.09-2.08 for BMI of 24-28.9, and 2.13, 1.09-4.16 for BMI ≥ 29) as compared with women with a BMI of 20 to 23.9. Weight gain after age 20 years and consequent overweight/obesity were combined risk factors for postmenopausal breast cancer risk. This combined effect was stronger among women aged 60 years or older. However, the HRs were not significant in premenopausal women. Conclusions: Our findings support the hypothesis that weight gain and consequent overweight/obesity are combined risk factors for breast cancer among postmenopausal women, particularly those aged 60 years or older

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-145
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of epidemiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology


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