PURPOSE - We conducted a study of women recruited at Meharry Medical College, a historically black medical school, to investigate the relationship between diabetes and mammographic breast density.
METHODS - A total of 476 women completed in-person interviews, body measurements, and full-field digital mammograms on a Hologic mammography unit from December 2011 to February 2014. Average percent breast density for the left and right breasts combined was estimated using Quantra, an automated algorithm for volumetric assessment of breast tissue. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes was determined by self-report.
RESULTS - After adjustment for confounding variables, the mean percent breast density among premenopausal women with type 2 diabetes [[Formula: see text] 13.8 %, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 11.6-15.9] was nonsignificantly lower than that of women without type 2 diabetes ([Formula: see text] 15.9 %, 95 % CI 15.0-16.8) (p = 0.07); however, there was no association among postmenopausal women. The effect of type 2 diabetes in severely obese women (BMI ≥ 35) appeared to differ by menopausal status with a reduction in mean percent breast density in premenopausal women, but an increase in mean percent breast density in postmenopausal women which could have been due to chance.
CONCLUSIONS - Confirmation of our findings in larger studies may assist in clarifying the role of the insulin signaling breast cancer pathway in women with high breast density.