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Low-grade inflammation, oxidative stress and risk of invasive post-menopausal breast cancer - A nested case-control study from the Malmö diet and cancer cohort

  • Joana Alves Dias
  • Gunilla Nordin Fredrikson
  • Ulrika Ericson
  • Bo Gullberg
  • Bo Hedblad
  • Gunnar Engström
  • Signe Borgquist
  • Jan Nilsson
  • Elisabet Wirfält
Publishing year: 2016-07-01
Language: English
Publication/Series: PLoS ONE
Volume: 11
Issue: 7
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Public Library of Science

Abstract english

Objective: Although cancer promotes inflammation, the role of inflammation in tumor-genesis is less well established. The aim was to examine if low-grade inflammation is related to post-menopausal breast cancer risk, and if obesity modifies this association. Methods; In the Malmo Diet and Cancer cohort, a nested case-control study was defined among 8,513 women free of cancer and aged 55.73 years at baseline (1991.96); 459 were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer during follow-up (until December 31st, 2010). In laboratory analyses of blood from 446 cases, and 885 controls (matched on age and date of blood sampling) we examined systemic inflammation markers: oxidized (ox)-LDL, interleukin (IL)- 1β, IL-6, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, white blood cells, lymphocytes and neutrophils. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for breast cancer risk was calculated using multivariable conditional logistic regression. Results: Inverse associations with breast cancer were seen in fully-adjusted models, for 2nd and 3rd tertiles of ox-LDL, OR (95% CI): 0.65 (, 0.63 ( respectively, p-trend = 0.01; and for the 3rd tertile of TNF-α, 0.65 (, p-trend = 0.04. In contrast, those in the highest IL-1β category had higher risk, 1.71 (, p-trend = 0.01. Obesity did not modify associations between inflammation biomarkers and breast cancer. Conclusion; Our study does not suggest that low-grade inflammation increase the risk of post-menopausal breast cancer.


  • Cancer and Oncology
  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology


  • Nutrition Epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Research - Immunity and Atherosclerosis
  • Diabetes - Cardiovascular Disease
  • Cardiovascular Research - Epidemiology
  • ISSN: 1932-6203
E-mail: jan [dot] nilsson [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Lund University Diabetes Centre, CRC, SUS Malmö, Jan Waldenströms gata 35, House 91:12. SE-214 28 Malmö. Telephone: +46 40 39 10 00