Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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Risk factors for breast cancer in women under 40 years
Tavani, A., Gallus, S., La Vecchia, C., Negri, E., Montella, M., Dal Maso, L., Franceschi, S. European Journal of Cancer. 1999. 35:9, 1361-7.
Topic area
Body size
Study design
Hospital based case-control
Funding agency
Not reported
Study Participants
Number of Cases
Cases: 579
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Pre menopausal
Number of Controls
Controls: 668
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
In: Age 22-39 years at baseline, visited a hospital in the Milan area from 1/83 to 5/91 or visited a hospital in one of six other Italian areas from 6/91 to 2/94 Ex: Women admitted for gynaecological, hormonal or neoplastic diseases
Comment about participation selection
Strengths: study evaluated many risk factors for breast cancer; focused on young women; relatively large case-control study Limitations: not a population based study; controls hospitalized; conditions that lead to hospitalization could be related to BMI; only examines BMI; anthropometric data self-reported
Exposure Investigated
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, year of recruitment, age, education, body mass index, family history of breast cancer, parity and age at first birth
Genetic characterization included
If the study analyzed relationships between environmental factors and inherited genetic variations, this field will be marked “Yes.” “No”, if not.
Strength of associations reported
Association between breast cancer risk and BMI, > 30 vs < 20, OR=0.51(0.26-0.97)
Author address
Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milan, Italy. tavani@irfmn.mnegri.it
Reviewers Comments
This paper is part of a subset of papers that uses the same base as several other studies: Tavani A, Braga C, La Vecchia C, Parazzini F, Talamini R, Franceschi S. 1998. Height and breast cancer risk.[see comment]. Eur J Cancer. 34 (4): 543-547. 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.