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Journal of Phlebology and Lymphology

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Increased levels of abdominal fat in patients with arm lymphedema after the surgical treatment of breast cancer: a quantitative, cross sectional, randomized study

Author(s): Edivandra Buzato, Patricia Amador Franco Brigidio

Introduction: The accumulation of fat in the abdominal area (visceral) is a strong risk factor for cardiovascular disease. One of the problems observed in women submitted to mastectomy is an increase in body weight and, consequently, an increase in abdominal fat as these two variables are closely linked, however no references about this correlation were found in the literature. Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate and measure the incidence of abdominal fat (AF) in women submitted to mastectomy. Method: Forty-five female patients diagnosed with arm lymphedema in 2011 were enrolled. The measurement of abdominal fat (AF) was by bioimpedance (InBody S 10®) the results of which were correlated with the body mass index (BMI). The paired t-test and Fisher exact test were used for statistical analysis with an alpha error of 5% being considered acceptable. Results: An association was identified between body mass index and abdominal fat (p-value < 0.03). Conclusion: The authors suggest that an assessment of intra-abdominal fat should be included in preventive evaluations of patients with lymphedema after breast cancer treatment.


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