Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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Physical activity and breast cancer risk in Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women
Gilliland, F. D.,, Li, Y. F.,, Baumgartner, K.,, Crumley, D.,, Samet, J. M. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2001. 154:5, 442-450.
Topic area
Physical Activity
Study design
Population based case-control
Funding agency
NCI Other: Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center
Study Participants
Number of Cases
712 (invasive and in situ) (332 Hispanic (131 pre and 178 post)) (380 Non-hispanic (116 pre and 239 post))
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Pre menopausal
Post menopausal
Number of Controls
Control: 844 (388 Hispanic) (456 Non-hispanic))
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
In: participants of the New Mexico Women's Health Study; women diagnosed with invasive or in situ breast cancer between 1/1/92 and 12/31/94; resident of New Mexico; age 30-74 years of age
Comment about participation selection
Strengths: large population based study; stratified results by race and menopausal status; included a food frequency questionnaire in the interviews; analyzed breast cancer risk by physical activity using MET (metabolic equivalents in kcal/kg/hour); conducted in-person interviews; assessed the type and duration of nonoccupational physical activity performed weekly for a 1 year period, 1 year before the reference date Limitations: physical activity was self-reported; potential socioeconomic bias from the random digit dialing method used to select controls; self-reported energy intake; did not include occupational physical activity
Exposure Investigated
Exposures investigated
Sedentary lifestyle
How exposure was measured
Questionnaire, in person
Exposure assessment comment
Physical activity was self-reported
Ethnic groups with separate analysis
If this study provided a separate analysis by ethnic or racial group, the groups are listed here.
Hispanic Americans Non-hispanic White Americans
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: age, age at first full-term birth, months of lactation, parity, years of oc use, menopausal status, years of HRT use
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: menopausal status
Strength of associations reported
Association between premenopausal breast cancer risk and physical activity in Hispanic women, >80 MET hrs/wk vs. <25 MET hrs/wk, OR=0.29(0.12-0.72) trend p<0.001
Association between postmenopausal breast cancer risk and physical activity in Hispanic women, >80 MET hrs/wk vs. <25 MET hrs/wk, OR=0.38(0.18-0.77) trend p=0.002
Association between postmenopausal breast cancer risk and physical activity in Non-Hispanic women, >80 MET hrs/wk vs. <25 MET hrs/wk, OR=0.45(0.24-0.85) trend p=0.019
Controls participation rate
Greater than 70% (81.2%)