J Menopausal Med.  2020 Apr;26(1):29-33. 10.6118/jmm.19014.

History of Diabetes Mellitus and Risk of Breast Cancer in Asian Women: A Meta-Epidemiological Analysis of Population-Based Cohort Studies

  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine, Jeju National University College of Medicine, Jeju, Korea


Previous quantitative systematic reviews conducting subgroup analyses by race have reported that the association between diabetes and breast cancer in Asian women was inconclusive. The aim of this meta-epidemiological study (MES) was to evaluate this association from additional population-based cohort studies.
The potential subjects of this MES were six Asian cohort studies selected by previous systematic reviews. Additional reports were found from the selected articles using citation discovery tools. The study with the longest follow-up period was selected among prospective studies of the same cohorts. A summary relative risk (sRR) and its 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using random effect models.
Four cohort studies on Asian women were finally selected. The participants were from the women population of Korea, Japan, China, and Taiwan and included a total of 1,448,254 women. The sRR (95% CI) (I-squared value) was 1.20 (0.98–1.46) (63.1%).
This MES found that the history of diabetes mellitus was not associated with the risk of breast cancer in Asian women. As breast cancer in this population develops at a younger age, additional cohort studies are necessary to conduct a subgroup analysis by menopausal status at diagnosis of breast cancer in Asian women.


Breast neoplasms; Cohort studies; Diabetes mellitus; Meta-analysis
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