Life course evolution of body size and breast cancer survival in the E3N cohort

Mathilde His, Marine Le Guélennec, Sylvie Mesrine, Marie Christine Boutron-Ruault*, Françoise Clavel-Chapelon, Guy Fagherazzi, Laure Dossus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Although adult obesity has been associated with poor breast cancer survival, data on adiposity at different periods in life and its lifelong evolution are scarce. Our aims were to assess the associations between breast cancer survival and body size during childhood, puberty and early adulthood and body size trajectories from childhood to adulthood. Self-assessed body size at age 8, at puberty, at age 20–25 and at age 35–40 and trajectories of body size of 4,662 breast cancer survivors from the prospective E3N cohort were studied in relation to risk of death from any cause, death from breast cancer and second invasive cancer event using multivariate Cox regression models. Four trajectories of body size were identified (T1 “moderate increase,” T2 “stable/low increase,” T3 “increase at puberty” and T4 “constantly high”). Compared with stable body size, an increase in body size during adult life was associated with an increased risk of death from any cause (HR T1 vs. T2 = 1.27; 95% CI = 1.01–1.60) and an increased risk of second invasive cancer event (HR T1 vs. T2 = 1.25; 95% CI = 1.06–1.47). Silhouettes at various ages were not associated with survival. Our results suggest that the evolution of body size from childhood to adulthood has a long-term influence on breast cancer survival. Although these results need to be confirmed, this work sheds light on the need to combine lifelong approaches to current BMI to better identify breast cancer survivors who are at higher risk of recurrence or second primary cancer, or of death.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1542-1553
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • body size change
  • breast cancer
  • obesity
  • survival
  • trajectory


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