Impact of serum lipid on breast cancer recurrence

Sung Mi Jung, Danbee Kang, Eliseo Guallar, Jonghan Yu, Jeong Eon Lee, Seok Won Kim, Seok Jin Nam, Juhee Cho, Se Kyung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The association between serum lipid level and prognosis of breast cancer is controversial. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of serum lipid level in breast cancer recurrence. We analyzed a total of 4190 patients with operable breast cancer who had baseline serum lipid profiles; total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C), high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C), apolipoprotein A-1, and apolipoprotein B. Recurrence-free survival is defined as the elapsed time from the date of curative surgery to the detection of any recurrence, and recurrence includes locoregional recurrence, distant metastasis, or both local and distant metastasis. Cox-proportional hazard analysis was used to estimate hazard ratios with 95% confidence intervals (CI) for study outcomes comparing the three lowest quartiles of each lipid parameter to the highest quartile adjusting for age, body mass index (BMI), and pathologic stage, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), comorbidities (hypertension, diabetes, or vascular event) at time of breast cancer diagnosis. Patients with dyslipidemia (high bad cholesterol and low good cholesterol level) had worse prognostic factors (i.e., negative hormone receptor status, positive human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) expression, higher nuclear grade). After adjusting for these poor prognostic factors, the patients with dyslipidemia showed good prognosis for breast cancer recurrence. Our study showed that baseline high lipid level could be a good prognostic factor of breast cancer. This study indicates that desirable changes in lipid profile for cardiovascular disease risk are not always beneficial for patients with breast cancer. However, as proper control of lipid level has advantages for cardiovascular disease, these findings require careful interpretation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2846
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Breast neoplasms
  • Cholesterol
  • Lipids
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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