High Cholesterol Increases Risk for Breast Cancer

Date: September 15, 2014      Publication: Bottom Line Personal      Source:  Rahul ­Potluri, MD, Aston Medical School      Print:

A recent British study found that women diagnosed with high cholesterol, defined by counts higher than 200 mg/dL, were 64% more likely to develop breast cancer than women without high cholesterol. Researchers reviewed the medical records of 664,159 female patients between 2000 and 2013. The researchers decided to do the study after a mouse study last year linked aggressive breast cancer to a chemical created by the body’s processing of cholesterol. Further research is needed to confirm the findings. In the meantime, there is strong evidence that exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight can help lower the risk of developing breast cancer after menopause. The British study also suggests that taking statins (prescription drugs to reduce high cholesterol) could help prevent breast cancer, but a clinical trial of the use of statins for breast cancer would need to be conducted before statins could be prescribed for that.

Source: Rahul ­Potluri, MD, honorary clinical lecturer in cardiology, Aston Medical School, Aston University, Birmingham, England. He is lead author of the ACALM study presented at the Frontiers in CardioVascular Biology 2014 Conference in Barcelona.