Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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Epidemiologic evidence of perinatal influence in the etiology of adult cancers
Janerich, D. T., Hayden, C. L., Thompson, W. D., Selenskas, S. L., Mettlin, C. J Clin Epidemiol. 1989. 42:2, 151-7.
Topic area
Early life exposures
Study design
Hospital based case-control
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Number of Controls
Controls: 1573
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
In: cases were women patients admitted to Roswell Park Memorial Institute during 1957 and 1965, whose birthdate were known and who were diagnosed with various malignant neoplasms, controls were female patients admitted to Roswell Park Memorial Institute, had a known birthdate, and were diagnosed with non-malignant diseases Ex: Sites with fewer than 50 patients were excluded
Comment about participation selection
Controls are hospital patients with non malignant diseases, but may have same risk factors
Exposure Investigated
Exposures investigated
Maternal age, paternal age
How exposure was measured
Questionnaire, in person
Exposure assessment comment
Self-reported parental age: recall bias, no mention of missing parental age and accuracy of self-report (test for correlation)
Statistical Analysis
Breast cancer outcome investigated
Primary incident breast cancer
Ethnic groups with separate analysis
If this study provided a separate analysis by ethnic or racial group, the groups are listed here.
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.
Race, BMI, parity, menopausal status, alcohol consumption, family history of breast cancer
Genetic characterization included
If the study analyzed relationships between environmental factors and inherited genetic variations, this field will be marked “Yes.” “No”, if not.
Description of major analysis
Logistic regression model. Age adjusted OR with 95% CI for the association between a 10 years differential in parental age, separate analysis for interaction between maternal and paternal age, study period: 1957- 1965
Strength of associations reported
Maternal age: 1.24 (1.09-1.41); paternal age: 1.19 (1.07-1.33)
Results Comments
Some evidence that the age of each parent may make an independent contribution to the risk of breast cancer
Author address
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510.