Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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Height and breast cancer risk. [see comment]
Tavani, A., Braga, C., La Vecchia, C., Parazzini, F., Talamini, R., Franceschi, S. European Journal of Cancer. 1998. 34:4, 543-7.
Topic area
Body size
Study design
Hospital based case-control
Funding agency
Other: Italian Association for Cancer Research
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Pre menopausal
Post menopausal
Number of Controls
Controls: 5,504
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
In: Age 22-74 years at baseline (cases), age 15-74 years at baseline (controls), diagnosed with breast cancer in Milan area from 1/83 to 5/91 or in one of six Italian areas from 6/91 to 2/94 (cases), and reside in the same geographical area and admitted to the same network of hospitals where cases had been admitted (controls) Ex: Women admitted for gynaecological, hormonal, or neoplastic diseases and women older than 74 years of age
Comment about participation selection
Strengths: Large case-control study; cases identified in a major teaching or major general hospital Limitations: Not a population based case-control study; anthropometric data self-reported; not clear that controls are hospitalized for conditions unrelated to body size
Exposure Investigated
Exposures investigated
Height, BMI and body 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: study center, age, education, BMI, age at menarche, number of births, oral contraceptive use, hormone replacement therapy, history of benign breast disease, family history of breast cancer, alcohol intake and smoking st
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, education, BMI, alcohol, age at menarche, parity, age at first birth, OC use, HRT use, history of benign breast disease, and family history of breast cancer
Results Comments
Association between breast cancer risk and height, > 166cm vs. <156 cm, OR= 0.96 (0.85-1.08) No effect modification by any factor studied
Author address
Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milan, Italy.
Reviewers Comments
This paper is part of a subset of papers that uses the same base as several other studies: Tavani A, Gallus S, La Vecchia C, Negri E, Montella M, Dal Maso L et al. 1999. RIsk factors for breast cancer in women under 40 years. Eur j Cancer. 35 (9):1361-1367 Mezzetti M, La Vecchia C, Decarli A, Boyle P, Talamini R, Franceschi S. 1998. Population attributable risk for breast cancer:diet, nutrition, and physical exercise. [see comment][erratum appears in J Natl Cancer Inst 2000 May 17, 92 (10):845]. J Natl Cancer Inst. 90 (5):389-394.