Body Mass Index and Breast Cancer Risk among Thai Premenopausal Women: a Case-Control Study

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University, Ratchathewi, Bangkok, Thailand.

2 Research and Technology Assessment Division, National Cancer Institute, Bangkok, Thailand.

3 Department of Biostatistics, Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University, Ratchathewi, Bangkok, Thailand.

4 Department of Family Health, Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University, Ratchathewi, Bangkok, Thailand.


Background: Breast cancer (BC) is the leading malignancy in women with high incidence and mortality worldwide. Obesity is one of several established risk factors for chronic diseases including cancer. The objective of this research was to determine the association of body mass index (BMI) with BC among Thai premenopausal women (TPW). Materials and Methods: A case-control study was conducted among TPW attending the National Cancer Institute in Bangkok, with 257 cases and 257 controls in 2013-2014. Cases and controls were matched by age (± 5 years), residential area and duration of attending. Data were collected with a questionnaire comprising 2 parts: part 1 socio-demographic characteristics, and part 2 health risk behavior and reproductive factors and BMI. The obtained data were analyzed using descriptive and analytic statistics with a computerized statistical package. Results: The study participants were mainly 40-44 years old (60 %) with an average age of 39 years. The major type of BC was the invasive ductal carcinoma (91.8%). On univariate analysis, risk factors for BC among the TPW were family history of BC, history of benign breast tumors, younger age at menarche, parity, miscarriage, contraceptive use, passive smoking, multivitamin use, and BMI (p<0.05). Multivariable conditional logistic regression analysis, controlling for possible confounding factors, revealed that a BMI 25-29.9 and ≥ 30 kg/m2 increased the risk of BC by a factor of 2.09 and 2.37 times, respectively (OR=2.09, 95%CI =1.09-3.97; OR=2.37, 95%CI =1.24-10.06). Conclusions: A surveillance system of obesity should be conducted in cooperation with information regarding physical activities and weight control among TPW as an essential measure to reduce BC risk.


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