Does Weight Loss Among Postmenopausal Women Decrease Risk of Breast Cancer?

Weight gain and high body mass index (BMI) are well recognized risk factors for postmenopausal breast cancer, but the association between weight loss and breast cancer is not well understood. Only a few studies have examined whether weight loss can reduce risk among postmenopausal women. The Cancer Research Network (CRN) and the virtual data warehouse (VDW) may provide an excellent platform for examining this important health question. This is a revised resubmission of a pilot proposal submitted to the CRN last year. While the reviewers cited several strengths, criticisms included the need for pilot data. The reviewers suggested that the proposal be focused on creating a distributed VDW program to determine data availability at different sites. The current proposal will present pilot data from the Kaiser Permanente Colorado (KPCO) VDW and determine the availability and quality of similar data across multiple CRN sites. Specifically, we plan to: 1) Develop a distributed VDW program to determine the availability and quality of data across CRN sites that could be used to examine whether weight loss is associated with decreased risk of breast cancer, or decreased risk of breast cancer recurrence. 2) Conduct preliminary analyses of these data to demonstrate that sufficient data exist in the VDW to appropriately inform an RO1 (or similar mechanism). In particular, whether multiple measures of weight are captured over time, and whether information of important covariates, such as HRT use, exist in the VDW. To complete these aims, we will create and distribute a VDW program at KPCO that will be executed at multiple CRN sites. The VDW program will create tabular data of variables of interest to conduct a complete analysis of weight change and breast cancer. In particular, availability of weight at multiple time periods before and after breast cancer diagnosis will be determined.

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