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Journal of Scientific Research and  Studies

Journal of Scientific Research and Studies Vol. 5(1), pp. 21-25, January, 2018

ISSN 2375-8791

Copyright © 2018

Author(s) retain the copyright of this article


Full Length Research Paper

Assessment of serum insulin and C-peptide levels among breast cancer patients and healthy controls at a tertiary hospital in Sokoto, Nigeria


Agbo S.P.*, Bello B. and Oboirien M.

Department of Surgery, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria.

*Corresponding author. E-mail:

Accepted 14 January, 2018




Carbohydrate diets have long been known to influence breast cancer risk by increasing the plasma levels of glucose and insulin. Raised plasma insulin may cause breast tissue carcinogenesis by directly stimulating insulin receptors leading to increased levels of the insulin-like growth factor-1(IGF-1) which has been found to have strong proliferative and anti-apoptotic effects on breast tissues. The aim of this study is to compare fasting levels of serum insulin and C-peptide in breast cancer patients with healthy control and see if any association exists between hyperinsulinemia and the risk of breast cancer. A cross-sectional study was done in which all consecutive patients aged between 20 and 80 years with confirmed diagnosis of breast cancer at the surgical clinic of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto were selected. Healthy women in same age range were selected as control. Serum levels of insulin and C-peptide, a marker of insulin secretion were assayed. Hyperinsulinemia was defined as a fasting insulin level of ≥10 μU/Ml. The results show that a total of 76 patients were seen comprising 38 cases and 38 controls. The mean age of cases and controls were 40.0 and 30.0 years, respectively. All the patients were females. The mean (±standard deviation) serum insulin level for cases and controls were 18.3(±10.2) and 2.6 (±1.2) µIU/mL, respectively while the mean serum C-peptide was 3.8 and 1.2 nG/mL, respectively. There was a significant association of hyperinsulinemia, 18.3 µIU/mL (OR=7.04, Confidence interval= (13.95, 20.67), P-value = 0.021) with breast cancer. In conclusion, the finding shows that hyperinsulinemia is a significant predictor of breast cancer risk in women from Sokoto, Nigeria.

Key words: C-peptide, insulin, hyperinsulinemia, breast cancer.

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