The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between changes in breast density during menopause and breast cancer (BC) risk.
This study was a retrospective, longitudinal cohort study for women over 30 years of age who had undergone breast mammography serially at baseline and postmenopause during regular health checkups at Samsung Medical Center. None of the participants had been diagnosed with BC at baseline. Mammographic breast density was measured using the American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System.
During 18,615 person-years of follow-up (median follow-up 4.8 years; interquartile range 2.8-7.5 years), 45 participants were diagnosed with BC. The prevalence of dense breasts was higher in those who were younger, underweight, had low parity or using contraceptives. The cumulative incidence of BC increased 4 years after menopause in participants, and the consistently extremely dense group had a significantly higher cumulative incidence (CI) of BC compared with other groups (CI of extremely dense vs. others [incidence rate per 100,000 person-years]: 375 vs. 203, p<0.01).
Korean women whose breast density was extremely dense before menopause and who maintained this density after menopause were at two-fold greater risk of BC.

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