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Elements of the metabolic syndrome may affect the risk of breast cancer after menopause, according to new results published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
The metabolic syndrome, which is associated with poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle, affects approximately 47 million Americans and is known to increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. The syndrome is classified as the presence of at least three of the following factors: elevated waist circumference, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure or high fasting glucose, all of which can be easily determined by blood tests or measurement.
"Women who had the metabolic syndrome during the three to five years prior to breast cancer diagnosis had roughly a doubling of risk," said study researcher Geoffrey C. Kabat. Earlier studies had found weak links between the individual components of metabolic syndrome and cancer.
"We know a great deal about breast cancer, but we cant identify who is likely to get it," Kabat said. "The effect of different variables associated with increased glucose and insulin levels needs to be evaluated further in larger studies."
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