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Breast Cancer Research

Open Access

Metabolic syndrome, hyperinsulinaemia and body mass index as risk factors in breast cancer: National Cancer Institute of Naples experience

  • I Capasso1,
  • E Esposito1,
  • M Montella2,
  • A Crispo2,
  • M Grimaldi2,
  • M D'Aiuto1,
  • G Beneduce3,
  • G Esposito3,
  • M De Marco4 and
  • G D'Aiuto1
Breast Cancer Research200911(Suppl 1):P2

Published: 23 June 2009


Breast CancerBody Mass IndexTriglycerideMetabolic SyndromeBreast Carcinoma


Metabolic syndrome appears to be connected to the onset of breast cancer through two pathways: obesity determines a high concentration of aromatase; and also insulin resistance, the related hyperinsulinaemia and high levels of IGF-1 (which rules as a growth factor like gonadotropic factor creating a hyperoestrogenic state). The goal we aim to reach is to identify a group at higher risk of developing breast cancer and to provide them with lifestyle models in order to support primary prevention and to assist the lead time in breast cancer detection.


We set up a project stratifying women ≥ 35 years old into three groups: women with borderline lesions and/or with familiarity; women with breast cancer; and healthy women without any breast pathology. Each woman, after consent, completed a questionnaire about personal and familial anamnesis and physical activity. For each woman, blood pressure, body mass index and waist–hip ratio were measured. Blood samples were taken in order to determine glycaemia, cholesterolaemia, triglyceride, and insulinaemia. Clinical–instrumental management was performed.


Two hundred and fifty women have been enrolled, stratified and studied, as described previously, and we are evaluating whether they are affected by metabolic syndrome and how it impacts on the onset of breast cancer.


Metabolic syndrome can be considered an important risk factor in developing breast cancer. Weight control, reduction of insulin seric levels and a correct lifestyle should be praised as efficient instruments to prevent breast carcinoma.

Authors’ Affiliations

National Cancer Institute Dip Senologia, Naples, Italy
National Cancer Institute Div Epidemiologia, Naples, Italy
National Cancer Institute Medicina di Laboratorio, Naples, Italy
National Cancer Institute, Naples, Italy


© BioMed Central Ltd. 2009