Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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Age when maximum height is reached as a risk factor for breast cancer among young U.S. women
Li, C. I., Malone, K. E., White, E., Daling, J. R. Epidemiology. 1997. 8:5, 559-65.
Topic area
Body size
Study design
Population based case-control
Funding agency
Study Participants
Number of Cases
747 (invasive)
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Pre menopausal
Number of Controls
control: 961
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
In: women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer between 1/1983 and 4/1990 (cases); resident of the three-county Seattle metropolitan area (King, Pierce and Snohomish counties); Caucasian; English speaking; owned a listed telephone number (controls); born in 1944 or later Ex: women with missing information
Comment about participation selection
Strengths: fairly large population based case-control with many cases; high participation rate; analyzes premenopausal breast cancer risk by height stratified by age when maximum height was attained; conducted in-person interviews Limitations: population based study by county; does not address women with prior cancers and whether or not they were excluded from the study; anthropometric data self-reported
Exposure Investigated
Exposures investigated
Height, age when max height attained, years between age at max height and first livebirth, BMI, weight
How exposure was measured
Questionnaire, in person
Exposure assessment comment
Anthropometric data self-reported
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, height, age when max height attained, age at menarche, age at first livebirth, family history of breast cancer, menopausal status
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: age when max height attained
Strength of associations reported
Association between premenopausal breast cancer risk and age when max height was attained, > 18 vs < 13 years, OR=0.7(0.5-0.9) trend p=0.02
Association between breast cancer risk and height, >68 in. vs. <63 in., OR=0.9(0.7-1.2) trend p=0.19
Association between breast cancer risk and weight, > 151 lbs vs. <120 lbs, OR=0.7(0.6-1.0)
Association between breast cancer risk and BMI, >25.55 vs. <20.26, OR=0.7(0.6-1.0)