Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
Print this page
Exposure to persistent organochlorines among Alaska Native women
Rubin, C. H., Lanier, A., Socha, M., Brock, J. W., Kieszak, S., Zahm, S. International Journal of Circumpolar Health. 2001. 60:2, 157-69.
Topic area
Environmental pollutant - Pestic, organochlorine, PCB
Study design
Other: Exposure study
Study Participants
Number of Controls
Controls: 66
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
Alaska Native women whose serum was collected in the mid 1980s Alaska-wide sero-survey for Hepatitis B survey. Cases identified from Alaska Area Native Health Center Cancer Registry. Controls had serum drawn in the same year as cases and were age-matched within 5 years, were alive and cancer-free at the time of the case woman's diagnosis. Mean age 57 years
Exposure Investigated
Exposures investigated
Lipid-adjusted total PCB; p,p-DDE; DDT; hexachlorobenzene, trans-nonachlor, oxychlordane, dieldrin; selected individual PCBs in serum
Exposure assessment comment
Authors state concern that differing laboratory methods may affect comparability of results across studies
Statistical Analysis
Ethnic groups with separate analysis
If this study provided a separate analysis by ethnic or racial group, the groups are listed here.
Alaska natives
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.
No information on lactation history, diet, or body size
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
Crude and lipid-adjusted arithmetic mean
Results Comments
More than 99% of women had detectable p,p-DDE. OC levels varied by region within Alaska. Levels are comparable to New York levels in the same time period, but route of exposure likely differs; since these compounds were not used in Alaska. Contaminant levels in women are comparable to marine mammals, though animal data are sparse.
Author address
National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA. chr1@cdc.gov