Association between insulin resistance and breast carcinoma: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Adrian V. Hernández, Mirella Guarnizo, Yony Miranda, Vinay Pasupuleti, Abhishek Deshpande, Socorro Paico, Hosten Lenti, Silvia Ganoza, Laritza Montalvo, Priyaleela Thota, Herbert Lazaro

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61 Scopus citations


Objective: This study was undertaken to evaluate the association between components defining insulin resistance and breast cancer in women. Study Design: We conducted a systematic review of four databases (PubMed-Medline, EMBASE, Web of Science, and Scopus) for observational studies evaluating components defining insulin resistance in women with and without breast cancer. A meta-analysis of the association between insulin resistance components and breast cancer was performed using random effects models. Results: Twenty-two studies (n = 33,405) were selected. Fasting insulin levels were not different between women with and without breast cancer (standardized mean difference, SMD -0.03, 95%CI -0.32 to 0.27; p = 0.9). Similarly, non-fasting/fasting C-peptide levels were not different between the two groups (mean difference, MD 0.07, -0.21 to 0.34; p = 0.6). Using individual odds ratios (ORs) adjusted at least for age, there was no higher risk of breast cancer when upper quartiles were compared with the lowest quartile (Q1) of fasting insulin levels (OR Q2 vs. Q1 0.96, 0.71 to 1.28; OR Q3 vs. Q1 1.22, 0.91 to 1.64; OR Q4 vs. Q1 0.98, 0.70 to 1.38). Likewise, there were no differences for quartiles of non-fasting/fasting C-peptide levels (OR Q2 vs. Q1 1.12, 0.91 to 1.37; OR Q3 vs. Q1 1.20, 0.91 to 1.59; OR Q4 vs. Q1 1.40, 1.03 to 1.92). Homeostatic model assessment (HOMAIR) levels in breast cancer patients were significantly higher than in people without breast cancer (MD 0.22, 0.13 to 0.31, p<0.00001). Conclusions: Higher levels of fasting insulin or non-fasting/fasting C-peptide are not associated with breast cancer in women. HOMA-IR levels are slightly higher in women with breast cancer. © 2014 Hernandez et al.
Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere99317
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
StatePublished - 9 Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


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