Levels of C-peptide and mammographic breast density

Caroline Diorio, Michael Pollak, Celia Byrne, Benoît Mâsse, Nicole Hébert-Croteau, Martin Yaffe, Gary Coté, Sylvie Bérubé, Jacques Brisson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Members of the insulin-like growth factor family have been associated with breast cancer risk and mammographic breast density, one of the strongest known breast cancer risk indicators. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to examine the association of levels of C-peptide (a marker of insulin secretion) with mammographic breast density among 1,499 healthy women recruited during screening mammography examinations. At time of mammography, blood samples and time since last meal were collected. Plasma C-peptide levels were measured by ELISA method, and mammographic breast density by a computer-assisted method. Spearman's partial correlation coefficients, adjusting for age and time since last meal (when necessary), were used to evaluate the associations. High body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio measurements were independently correlated with high levels of C-peptide (r s = 0.173 and r s = 0.252, respectively; P < 0.0001) or low breast density (r s = -0.389 and r s = -0.142, respectively; P < 0.0001). High levels of C-peptide were correlated with low breast density (r s = -0.210, P < 0.0001). However, the strength of the negative correlation was substantially reduced and was no longer significant after further adjustment for body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio (r s = -0.022, P = 0.41). These results suggest that C-peptide levels are not associated with breast density after complete adjustment for adiposity. Thus, the insulin/C-peptide-breast density relation does not seem to mirror the insulin/C-peptide-breast cancer association.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2661-2664
Number of pages4
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number11 I
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes


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