Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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Breast cancer incidence and exposure to pesticides among women originating from Jaipur
Mathur, V., Bhatnagar, P., Sharma, R. G., Acharya, V., Sexana, R. Environ Int. 2002. 28:5, 331-6.
Topic area
Environmental pollutant - Pesticide, organochlorine, DDT, DDE, DDD, heptachl
Study design
Hospital based case-control
Funding agency
Other: Government of Rajasthan State, India
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Pre menopausal
Post menopausal
Number of Controls
Controls: 50
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
Cases were patients with breast cancer at one hospital. Controls were female patients not suffering from cancer. (No other information given.)
Exposure Investigated
Exposures investigated
Blood concentrations of DDT, DDE, DDD, heptachlor, dieldrin, isomers of HCH (alpha, beta, gamma)
Exposure assessment comment
A single measure of serum pesticide concentration close to the time of diagnosis may not be representative of the etiologic pesticide dose.
Statistical Analysis
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, diet, urban/rural residence
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
Parametric and non-parametric comparison of organochlorine concentrations between cases and controls, stratifying by age, diet (vegetarian vs non-vegetarian), and urban/rural residence.
Strength of associations reported
Significantly elevated organochlorine concentrations in cases as compared to controls. Most differences persisted when stratified by age group, diet (vegetarian vs non-vegetarian), and urban/rural residence.
Results Comments
Significant differences in blood concentrations of pesticides between cases and controls were found. However, lipid-levels were not controlled for, the age distributions of cases and controls are very different (although most significant differences remain when comparing women in the same age range).
Author address
Department of Zoology, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India.