Associations of C-reactive protein, granulocytes and granulocyte-to-lymphocyte ratio with mortality from breast cancer in non-institutionalized American women.

Wahyu Wulaningsih, Lars Hjalmar Holmberg, Lucie Eva Elisabeth Abeler-Dorner, Tony Tsz-cheong Ng, Sabine Rohrmann, Mieke Van Hemelrijck

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Abstract

Inflammation may play a role in breast cancer, but evidence in the general population is lacking. We investigated the association between serum inflammatory markers (C-reactive protein (CRP), absolute granulocyte count (AGC) and granulocyte-to-lymphocyte (G/L) ratio) and breast cancer (BCa) mortality in American women while accounting for adiposity. From the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) we selected all women aged 20+ without any known history of cancer (n = 7,780). Multivariable Cox regression models were used to assess CRP, AGC and G/L ratio in relation to mortality from BCa, all cancer, cardiovascular disease and all causes. Stratification analyses by body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference were performed to investigate the effect of adiposity on this association. During a mean follow-up of 167 months, 44 women died from BCa. After adjustments for BMI and waist circumference, only G/L ratio was associated to risk of BCa death (e.g. HR: 2.35, 95% CI: 1.36–4.06 for the 3rd compared to the 1st tertile, Ptrend = 0.01). Except for a borderline interaction between CRP categories and obesity by BMI, no statistically significant interaction between markers and categories of BMI or waist circumference was observed. All three markers were associated with mortality from cardiovascular disease and all causes. Our findings support a role of inflammation in BCa mortality which may involve mechanisms apart from obesity, and potential usefulness of GLR as a marker in assessing inflammation and cancer.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPLOS One
Volume11
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2016

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