To examine the association between obesity measured by body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) according to menopausal status in Korean women.
We identified 6,467,388 women, using the Korean National Health Insurance System Cohort. Cox-proportional hazard models were used to generate adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for breast cancer risk in relation to BMI and WC.
In postmenopausal women, the risk of breast cancer increased with BMI. Compared to women with a BMI of 18.5-23 kg/m two, the risk of invasive breast cancer was lower in patients with BMI < 18.5 (aHR 0.82, 95% CI 0.75-0.89), while it increased linearly in those with BMI 23-25 (1.11, 1.08-1.14), BMI 25-30 (1.28, 1.25-1.32), and BMI ≥ 30 (1.54,1.47-1.62). In contrast, the risk of breast cancer decreased with BMI in premenopausal women. Compared to women with a BMI of 18.5-23, the risk of IBC was similar in those with a BMI < 18.5 (1.02, 0.94-1.11) and BMI 23-25 (1.01, 0.97-1.05), but was significantly lower in those with a BMI 25-30 (0.95, 0.91-0.98) and BMI ≥ 30 (0.90, 0.82-0.98). A relative increase with BMI was less profound for carcinoma in situ in postmenopausal women, and a relative decrease was more profound in premenopausal women. An analysis using WC showed almost identical results.
There was a positive relationship between obesity and breast cancer in postmenopausal women, and an inverse association in premenopausal women.