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Obesity And Type 2 Diabetes Are Risk Factors For Breast Cancer In Premenopausal Women

According to King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia researchers, obese premenopausal women with type 2 diabetes have harmful effects on adipocytokines and inflammatory mediators which leads to increased risk of breast cancer.

The findings, Dr. Nasser Al-Daghri told, call for better management of type 2 diabetes and obesity in order to avoid the development of breast cancer and other chronic diseases that possibly are associated with these conditions.

Dr. Al-Daghri and team reported that both obesity and type 2 diabetes are among the risk factors for breast cancer development. However, the combined effects of these metabolic abnormalities on breast cancer risk were not studied in premenopausal women.

The investigators divided 101 Saudi women with type 2 diabetes into obese, overweight or normal based on their body mass index (BMI).

The researchers reported that obese women were significantly older and had elevated systolic blood pressure (p<0.05 for each) compared to normal-weight women. Moreover, obese women had significantly higher serum levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein (CRP) and leptin and significantly lower levels of adiponectin (p < 0.05 for each).

Altered levels of these biomolecules are risk factors for the development of breast cancer, Dr. Al-Daghri told Reuters Health.

The team reported that previous studies showed that increased leptin levels and decreased adiponectin levels promote carcinogenesis in the breast. Also, increased IL-6 and CRP levels have shown to positively impact breast cancer etiology. Moreover, increased IL-6 levels in obesity can directly interfere with insulin signaling and contribute to insulin resistance.

The study team also found that there was a significant positive correlation between waist size and IL-6 levels in obese women. In addition there was a linearly correlation of CRP, waist and hip circumferences with BMI in the obese group. These findings, the researchers note, suggest obesity-induced inflammatory response and enhanced risk for carcinogenesis.