Evidence From Humans
 
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Risk of breast cancer and organochlorine exposure
Wolff, M. S., Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, A., Dubin, N., Toniolo, P. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. 2000. 9:3, 271-7.
Topic area
Environmental pollutant - Pesticides, organochlorine, PCB, DDE, DDT
Study design
Hospital based case-control
Funding agency
Other: NIH
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Pre menopausal
Post menopausal
Number of Controls
Controls: 295
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
Women in the NYU Women's Health Study were enrolled at a breast cancer screening center in NY, and followed prospectively. Women who had taken hormonal medications, or been pregnant in the 6 months preceding their visit, or who were diagnosed with breast cancer less than 6 months after donating blood were not eligible. Breast cancer cases were identified through active follow-up, and linkages with local cancer registries. Controls were randomly selected from among the living cancer-free women in the cohort, and were matched based on menopausal status and age at enrollment, number and dates of blood donations, and day of the menstrual cycle for premenopausal women.
Exposures investigated
Lipid-corrected serum levels of DDE and PCBs.
Statistical Analysis
Ethnic groups with separate analysis
If this study provided a separate analysis by ethnic or racial group, the groups are listed here.
No
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 at menarche, number of full-term pregnancies, age at first full-term pregnancy, first degree family history of breast cancer, months of lactation, height, BMI, and an interactions term for BMI and 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.
No
Description of major analysis
ORs were computed for both DDE and PCB levels using conditional logistic regression.
Strength of associations reported
For DDE, the ORs in the upper second, third, and fourth quartiles were 0.81, 0.60, and 1.3, respectively, with none significantly different from the lowest quartile (95% CI for the highest quartile = 0.51-3.35).

For PCBs, the ORs in the upper second, third, and fourth quartiles were 1.55, 1.23, 2.02, respectively, with none significantly different from the lowest quartile (95% CI for the highest quartile = 0.76-5.37). Furthermore, there was no association between PCBs on a continuous scale and breast cancer risk.
Results Comments
Repeated serum samples were obtained from most of the women. DDE levels at the next sample were greater or equal for 27% of women, and PCB levels were greater or equal for 46%, suggesting that some exposures to PCBs and DDE are continuing.
Author address
Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York 10029, USA.
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