Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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Anthropometric measures and metabolic rate in association with risk of breast cancer (United States)
Freni, S. C., Eberhardt, M. S., Turturro, A., Hine, R. J. Cancer Causes & Control. 1996. 7:3, 358-65.
Topic area
Body size
Study design
Retrospective cohort
Funding agency
Not reported
Study Participants
Number of Cases
182 (70 pre) (112 post)
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Pre menopausal
Post menopausal
Number in Cohort
Cohort: 7,622
Cohort participation rate
Retention/participation exceeded 70% for exposed a
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
In: participants of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey I (NHANES I) who were traced and re-interviewed between 1982 and 1987; age 25 to 74 Ex: women who were lactating or pregnant at the time of the baseline examination; women who had given birth within six months of the baseline examination
Comment about participation selection
Strengths: performed three follow-up surveys; cases required a positive medical records and/or a death certificate; anthropometric data were measured by trained staff; length follow up of 155 months (mean); high participation rate; analyzed breast cancer risk by height and weight stratified by menopausal status; performed in-person interviews Limitations: obtained biased calorie intake values from cases, which were lower than control values and lower than their basal metabolic rate (BMR) and resting metabolic rate (RMR) values; few cases after stratification by menopausal status; used second quintile for reference group for the analysis of breast cancer risk related to weight
Exposures investigated
Height, elbow width, sum of skinfolds, weight, BMI, sitting height, % body fat
How exposure was measured
Questionnaire, in person Anthropometric measurement, researcher-administered
Statistical Analysis
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.
Adequately controlled, confounders: age, age at first birth, age at menarche, maternal history of breast cancer, education
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
Effect modifiers: menopausal status Follow-up: 155 months (mean)
Strength of associations reported
Association between postmenopausal breast cancer risk and elbow width, > 6.7 cm vs. <6 cm, OR=2.3(1.2-4.7) trend p=0.02
Association between postmenopausal breast cancer risk and weight, >77 kg vs. <61 kg, OR=2.5(1.2-5.1) trend p=0.03 (Quintile 2 as reference)
Association between premenopausal breast cancer risk and weight, >77 kg vs. <61 kg, OR=0.9(0.5-1.9) trend p>0.10 (Quintile 2 as reference)
Association between premenopausal breast cancer risk and height, >167 cm vs. <156 cm, OR=1.6(0.6-3.8) trend p>0.10
Association between postmenopausal breast cancer risk and height, >167 cm vs. <156 cm, OR=2.0(1.0-3.8) trend p=0.02
Results Comments
No significant association between breast cancer risk and BMI