Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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Complex organochlorine pesticide mixtures as determinant factor for breast cancer risk: a population-based case-control study in the Canary Islands (Spain)
Boada, L. D., Zumbado, M., Henriquez-Hernandez, L. A., Almeida-Gonzalez, M., Alvarez-Leon, E. E., Serra-Majem, L., Luzardo, O. P. Environ Health. 2012. 11:1, 28.
Topic area
Environmental pollutant - Organochlorine pesticides DDT
Study design
Population based case-control
Funding agency
Not reported
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
No analyses based on menopausal status
Number of Controls
Controls: 103
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
121 histologically confirmed cases between 1999 and 2001 were recruited from two University Hospitals on Gran Canaria Island. 103 controls were from healthy, adult women in the Canary Islands Nutrition Survey (ENCA) 1998, which is a population based, representative sample.
Comment about participation selection
The age distribution of cases was significantly different from controls, with younger cases than controls. Among controls (but not cases), age was positively correlated with serum p,p'-DDE but negatively correlated with serum aldrin and lindane.
Exposure Investigated
Exposures investigated
Lipid-standardized serum p,p'-DDT, o,p'-DDT, p,p'-DDE, o,p'-DDE, p,p'-DDD, o,p'-DDD, aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, and lindane. o,p-DDT/DDE/DDD isomers were detected infrequently and so were not considered further.
Exposure assessment comment
Because OCPs are stored in fat, weight loss could result in increased concentrations of these compounds. If changes in body weight occur as a result of cancer, the levels of OCPs measured in this study may not reflect the background exposure.
Breast cancer outcome investigated
Primary incident breast cancer
Confounders considered
Other breast cancer risk factors, such as family history, age at first birth, and hormone replacement therapy use, that were taken into account in the study.
Age, body mass index, menopausal status, lactation, smoking habits
Genetic characterization included
If the study analyzed relationships between environmental factors and inherited genetic variations, this field will be marked “Yes.” “No”, if not.
Strength of associations reported
Per ng/g lipid:
Lindane: aOR 1.097 (95% CI 0.420-28.412)
Aldrin: aOR 1.027 (0.991-1.065)
Dieldrin: aOR 1.002 (0.956-1.050)
Endrin: NA
p,p'-DDD: aOR 1.008 (1.001-1.015)
p,p'-DDE: aOR 0.999 (0.996-1.001)
p,p'-DDT: aOR 0.994 (0.987-1.002)
Results Comments
Median of total OCPs was higher in cases than controls among women >45 years of age (p < 0.05).