OBJECTIVES: To estimate the effect of medical conditions in the population of Korea on breast cancer risk in a case-control study. METHODS: The cases were 3242 women with incident, histologically confirmed breast cancer in two major hospitals interviewed between 2001 and 2007. The controls were 1818 women each admitted to either of those two hospitals for a variety of non-neoplastic conditions. Information on each disease was obtained from a standardized questionnaire by trained personnel. Odds ratios (ORs) for each disease were derived from multiple logistic regression adjusted for age, age of menarche, pregnancy, age of first pregnancy, and family history of breast cancer. RESULTS: Among all of the incident breast cancer patients, pre-existing diabetes (OR, 1.33; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.99 to 1.78), hypertension (OR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.18 to 1.83), thyroid diseases (OR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.58), and ovarian diseases (OR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.23 to 2.35) were associated with an increased risk of breast cancer when other factors were adjusted for. In a stratified analysis by menopausal status, pre-existing hypertension (pre-menopause OR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.48 to 1.34 vs. post-menopause OR, 1.87; 95% CI, 1.44 to 2.43; p-heterogeneity <0.01) and ovarian disease (pre-menopause OR, 4.20; 95% CI, 1.91 to 9.24 vs. post-menopause OR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.02 to 1.91; p-heterogeneity 0.01) showed significantly different risks of breast cancer. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest the possibility that medical conditions such as hypertension affect breast cancer development, and that this can differ by menopausal status. Our study also indicates a possible correlation between ovarian diseases and breast cancer risk.