Metabolic syndrome and breast cancer: a dangerous association for postmenopausal women A postmenopausal women prevention study

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Pasquale Palmiero
Maria Maiello
Annagrazia Cecere
Marco Matteo Ciccone


breast cancer, metabolic syndrome, metabolic cardiomyopathy, postmenopausal women



Breast cancer(BC) is the most common cancer in women worldwide, the relationship between metabolic syndrome(MetS) and BC needs to be better clarified. Today the early diagnosis of breast cancer(BC) is yet a challenging problem in clinical practice, so the evidence that a well identified population of postmenopausal women, affected by MetS, presents a high risk, of breast cancer occurrence, is useful for breast cancer prevention. Our study aims to assess the prevalence of metabolic syndrome, diagnosed according to current guidelines, in postmenopausal women with breast cancer, and its role as an independent risk factor.


MetS rate was significantly higher among women affected by BC:10.1%, 33 women, than CG:5.4%, 18 women, Chi-squared4.8,Odds ratio1.94,c.i.95%,p<0.02. Metabolic cardiomyopathy rate was significantly higher among women affected by BC:5.8%, 18 women, than CG:1.8%, 6 women, Chi-squared6.5,Odds ratio3.2,c.i.95%,p<0.01. Otherwise MetS rate without cardiomyopathy was higher among women affected by BC:4.8%, 15 women, than CG:3.4%, 11 women, but in a not statistically significant way, Chi-squared0.8,Odds ratio1.35,c.i.95%,p<0.36.


There was a significant relationship, in our population, between MetS and BC, adding evidence to this controversial association, the relationship was even tighter, when restricted to women affected by metabolic cardiomyopathy; otherwise it, restricted to women affected by MetS, without metabolic cardiomyopathy, was not statistically significant. Since the prevalence of MetS is increasing worldwide, just like the incidence of BC, an intervention is needed to improve physical activity and weight reduction to decrease the MetS rate.


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