Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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N-acetyl transferase 2 genotypes, meat intake and breast cancer risk
Gertig, D. M., Hankinson, S. E., Hough, H., Spiegelman, D., Colditz, G. A., Willett, W. C., Kelsey, K. T., Hunter, D. J. International Journal of Cancer. 1999. 80:1, 13-7.
Topic area
Diet - Genetic variability
Study design
Nested case-control
Funding agency
NCI ACS Royal Australian College of Physicians
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Pre menopausal
Post menopausal
Number of Controls
Controls: 466
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
Women in the Nurses' Health Study. Cases were pathologically confirmed, incident breast cancers. Controls were cohort members without BC matched on year of birth, menopausal status, postmenopausal hormone use at blood collection, month of blood return, time of day of blood collection, and fasting status.
Exposures investigated
FFQ of charred meat consumption, allele frequencies for NAT2 genotype, used PCR-RFLP
How exposure was measured
Biological Questionnaire, self-administered
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
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 analysis of NAT2 genotype and charred meat exposure, including interactions
Strength of associations reported
No association between meat consumption and/or cooking method and BC risk. No interaction between cooking method/ charred meat consumption and genotype: Compared low acetylators with low consumption of charred meat, rapid acetylators with higher consumption showed AOR=1.2 (0.6-2.3). No differences by menopausal status. No association with smoking status.
Author address
Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. dorota.gertig@channing.harvard.edu