Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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Risk and aggressiveness of breast cancer in relation to plasma organochlorine concentrations
Demers, A., Ayotte, P., Brisson, J., Dodin, S., Robert, J., Dewailly, E. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. 2000. 9:2, 161-6.
Topic area
Environmental pollutant - Pesticides, organochlorine, PCB, DDE, DDT, beta-HC
Study design
Hospital based case-control
Funding agency
National Cancer Institute of Canada
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Pre menopausal
Post menopausal
Number of Controls
Controls: 219 hospital, 307 population
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
Cases were women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Hospital-based controls were admitted for non-cancer surgeries. Population controls were randomly selected from state insurance records.
Exposures investigated
Plasma lipid concentrations of beta-HCH, DDE, DDT, oxychlordane, trans-nonachlor, and PCB 153.
Breast cancer outcome investigated
Primary breast cancer
Other: Probability of lymph node invasion
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.
Age, region of residence, BMI, breast feeding duration , age at first child, number of fertile years, family history of breast cancer, history of BBD.
Description of major analysis
ORs were calculated using unconditional logistic regression analysis.
Strength of associations reported
No ORs for incident breast cancer were above 1.47 for the highest exposure quintiles of any of the organochlorines.
However, significant associations with tumor size was seen for beta-HCH and trans-Nonachlor, and significant associations with lymph-node involvement was seen for DDE, oxychlordane, and PCB-153.
Author address
Unite de Recherche en Sante Publique, Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l'Universite Laval, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Quebec, Beauport, Canada.
Controls participation rate
89% for hospital controls 47% for population contr