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Obesity Adds to Racial Disparity in Early Breast Cancer

MONDAY, Dec. 7, 2020 -- For women with early breast cancer, there are considerable disparities in terms of obesity and comorbidity for Black and White women, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in Cancer.

Kirsten A. Nyrop, Ph.D., from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues conducted a retrospective chart review to examine obesity and comorbidity in Black and White women with early breast cancer (stages I to III). Data were included for 548 patients: 26 and 74 percent Black and White, respectively.

The researchers found that 62 and 32 percent of Black and White patients, respectively, were obese. Overall, 75 and 87 percent of Black and White patients, respectively, had hormone receptor-positive (HR+) tumors. There were significant differences between the groups for having two or more comorbidities (62 percent of Blacks and 47 percent of Whites); two or more obesity-related comorbidities (33 versus 10 percent); hypertension (60 versus 32 percent); diabetes mellitus (23 versus 6 percent); hypercholesterolemia or hyperlipidemia (28 versus 18 percent); and hypothyroidism (4 versus 11 percent). No intergroup differences were seen for women with HR+/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative tumors regarding type of surgery, chemotherapy regimen, radiation, or endocrine treatment.

"Findings from this study need to be considered within the larger context of the cancer-obesity link and the disparate impact of the obesity epidemic on communities of color in the United States," Nyrop said in a statement.

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Posted: December 2020

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