Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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Long-Term Particulate Matter Exposures During Adulthood and Risk of Breast Cancer Incidence in the Nurses' Health Study II Prospective Cohort
Hart, J. E., Bertrand, K. A., DuPre, N., James, P., Vieira, V. M., Tamimi, R. M., Laden, F. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a p. 2016. .
Topic area
Environmental pollutant - Air pollution Vehicle exhaust
Study design
Prospective cohort
Funding agency
Susan G. Komen for the Cure NIH
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Analyses stratified by menopausal status
Number in Cohort
Cohort: 115,921
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
The Nurses’ Health Study II cohort enrolled female nurses during the year 1989 who were aged 25 to 42 years and had no prior history of cancers other than non-melanoma skin, followed 1993-2011.
Exposure Investigated
Exposures investigated
19-year biennial self-reported residential history used to estimate forty-eight month moving average and cumulative average exposure to PM10, PM2.5-10, and PM2.5 from a monthly spatio-temporal prediction model. Residential proximity to major roadways was
How exposure was measured
GIS/geographic location
Exposure assessment comment
This traffic model uses geocoded addresses to assign individual-level traffic exposure and the study accounted for participants moving addresses during the study period.
Breast cancer outcome investigated
Primary invasive breast cancer
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, race, calendar year, history of BBD, age at menarche, parity, age at first birth, height, BMI at age 18, current BMI, alcohol consumption at ages 15-17 and 18-22, overall diet quality, oral contraceptive use, menopausal status and hormone use, smokin
Genetic characterization included
If the study analyzed relationships between environmental factors and inherited genetic variations, this field will be marked Yes. No, if not.
Strength of associations reported
2-year cumulative average (per 10 μg/m3 increase)
PM10 HR 1.00 (95% CI 0.93-1.07)
PM2.5 HR 0.90 (95% CI 0.79-1.03)
PM10 HR 1.03 (95% CI 0.93-1.13)
PM2.5 HR 0.99 (95% CI 0.83-1.18)

Proximity to largest roads (Ref = ≥ 200m)
<50 meters (8 cases) HR 1.60 (95% CI 0.80-3.21)
50-199 meters HR 1.11 (95% CI 0.89-1.40)
<50 meters (5 cases) HR 1.74 (95% CI 0.72-4.21)
50-199 meters HR 1.26 (95% CI 0.94-1.67)
<50 m (4 cases): HR 1.48 (95% CI 0.55-3.97)
50-199m: HR 1.08 (95% CI 0.79-1.48)
<50m: HR 1.41 (95% CI 0.83-2.41)
50-199m: HR 1.52 (95% CI 0.89-2.60)
Results Comments
There were no appreciable differences in estimates for PM10 and PM2.5 by tumor subtype.
Author address
Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School jaime.hart@channing.harvard.edu. Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University. Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health. Harvard