Comorbidity patterns, family history and breast cancer risk: A latent class analysis

Michela Dalmartello*, Jeroen Vermunt, Fabio Parazzini, Diego Serraino, Attilio Giacosa, Anna Crispo, Eva Negri, Fabio Levi, Claudio Pelucchi, Carlo La Vecchia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Limited evidence exists on how the presence of multiple conditions affects breast cancer (BC) risk. 


We used data from a network hospital-based case-control study conducted in Italy and Switzerland, including 3034 BC cases and 3392 controls. Comorbidity patterns were identified using latent class analysis on a set of specific health conditions/diseases. A multiple logistic regression model was used to derive ORs and the corresponding 95% CIs for BC according to the patterns, adjusting for several covariates. A second model was fitted including an additional effect of FH on the comorbidity patterns. 


With respect to the â € healthy' pattern, the â € metabolic disorders' one reported an OR of 1.23 (95% CI 1.02 to 1.49) and the â € breast diseases' an OR of 1.86 (95% CI 1.23 to 2.83). The remaining two patterns reported an inverse association with BC, with ORs of 0.77, significant only for the â € hysterectomy, uterine fibroids and bilateral ovariectomy'. In the second model, FH was associated with an increased risk of the â € breast diseases' pattern (OR=4.09, 95% CI 2.48 to 6.74). Non-significant increased risk of the other patterns according to FH emerged. 


We identified mutually exclusive patterns of comorbidity, confirming the unfavourable role of those related to metabolic and breast disorders on the risk of BC, and the protective effect of those related to common surgical procedures. FH reported an incremented risk of all the comorbidity patterns. 


Identifying clusters of comorbidity in patients with BC may help understand their effects and enable clinicians and policymakers to better organise patient and healthcare management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)867-872
JournalJournal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2022




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