Endocrine Abstracts (2011) 26 P324

Basal energy expenditure and fat mass changes in breast cancer patients

Nermin Tuncbilek1, Sibel Güldiken2, Neslihan Soysal Atile2, Betül Ekiz Bilir2 & Deniz Köken1


1Trakya University Medical Faculty Radiology Department, Edirne, Turkey; 2Trakya University Medical Faculty Internal Medicine Endocrinology Division, Edirne, Turkey.


Aim: Basal energy expenditure (BEE), also called basal metabolic rate, increases in cancer patients and is thought to contribute to the weight loss observed in cancer cachexia. Cancer type, pathological stage and duration of disease influence BEE. The aim of this study was to evaluate BEE and body composition in breast cancer patients.

Methods: Forty-three women with breast cancer whose received adjuvant chemotherapy and 80 healthy age and body mass index (BMI)-matched control were enrolled in the study. Anthropometric measurements were recorded. BEE was measured by Harris-Benedict (HB) formula. Fat mass assessed by the TANITA. Preperitoneal, visceral and subcutaneous fat were evaluated by ultrasonography.

Results: Compared with the controls, patients with breast cancer showed significant increase in BEE (P<0.001), and visceral fat mass (P<0.05). Peritoneal fat mass was significantly decreased in breast cancer group (P<0.01). There was no significant difference between groups. BEE showed positive correlation with total fat mass (r=0.8, P<0.001), subcutaneous fat mass (r=0.56, P<0.001) and visceral fat mass (r=0.4, P<0.05) in breast cancer patients. Regression analysis showed that total fat mass increase was an independent risk factor on BEE increase in breast cancer patients (P<0.001, β=0.79, 95% CI=8.0–14.4).

Conclusion: Our data supports previous studies showed a greater BEE for breast cancer patients. Not only the local fat distribution but also the total fat mass increase affects on BEE in patients with breast cancer. When compared with healthy subjects, total fat mass increase didn’t observed in breast cancer patients but increase in visceral fat mass which is accepted as a marker of metabolic disturbances was remarkable. These body fat mass changes may have important health implications for survivors.

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