MONDAY, Jan. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Postmenopausal women with persistent vasomotor symptoms (VMS) have an increased incidence of breast cancer, according to a study published online Dec. 28 in Menopause.

Rowan T. Chlebowski, M.D., Ph.D., from the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California, and colleagues examined the correlations between persistent VMS and breast cancer incidence and mortality. Data were included from a sample of 25,499 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 years in the Women’s Health Initiative without current/former menopausal hormone therapy use.

The researchers identified 1,399 incident breast cancers through a median follow-up of 17.9 years. Compared with women who never had VMS, those with persistent VMS (median duration 10+ years) had a higher incidence of breast cancer (hazard ratio, 1.13; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.02 to 1.27). Women with persistent VMS had higher breast cancer-specific mortality, but the difference was not statistically significant (hazard ratio, 1.33; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.88 to 2.02). Persistent VMS status did not impact breast cancer overall survival (hazard ratio, 1.02; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.81 to 1.29).

“Women with persistent VMS are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than women who never experienced VMS, but not more likely to die from breast cancer,” the authors write. “Given the mixed findings regarding VMS and breast cancer incidence and outcome, further study of this important question is needed.”

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

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