Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in postmenopausal breast cancer survivors as compared with postmenopausal women without breast cancer.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 104 postmenopausal breast cancer survivors were compared with 208 postmenopausal women (controls) attending a university hospital. Eligibility criteria included the following: amenorrhea longer than 12 months and aged 45 years or older, treated for breast cancer, and metastasis-free for at least 5 years. The control group consisted of women with amenorrhea longer than 12 months and aged 45 years or older and without breast cancer, matched by age and menopause status (in a proportion of 1:2 as sample calculation). Clinical and anthropometric data were collected. Biochemical parameters, including total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, and C-reactive protein, were measured. Women showing three or more diagnostic criteria were diagnosed as having MetS: waist circumference of 88 cm or larger, blood pressure of 130/85 mm Hg or higher, triglycerides level of 150 mg/dL or higher, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level lower than 50 mg/dL, and glucose level of 100 mg/dL or higher. For statistical analysis, Student’s t test, χ2 test, and logistic regression (odds ratio [OR]) were used.
Results: The mean (SD) age of breast cancer survivors was 60.6 (8.6) years, with a mean (SD) follow-up of 9.4 (4.4) years. A higher percentage of breast cancer survivors (46.2%) were obese as compared with controls (32.7%; P < 0.05), and a smaller percentage showed optimal values for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, glucose, and C-reactive protein versus controls (P < 0.05). MetS was diagnosed in 50% of breast cancer survivors and in 37.5% of control group women (P < 0.05). Among the MetS diagnostic criteria, the most prevalent was abdominal obesity (waist circumference >88 cm), affecting 62.5% and 67.8% of the participants, respectively. In the control group, breast cancer survivors had a higher risk for MetS (OR, 1.66; 95% CI, 1.04-2.68), dysglycemia (OR, 1.05; 95% CI, 1.09-3.03), and hypertension (OR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.02-2.89).
Conclusions: Postmenopausal breast cancer survivors present a higher risk of developing MetS as compared with women without breast cancer.