Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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Associations of breast cancer risk factors with breast density in Hispanic women
Gapstur, S. M., Lopez, P., Colangelo, L. A., Wolfman, J., Van Horn, L., Hendrick, R. E. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. 2003. 12:10, 1074-80.
Topic area
Body size
Study design
Other: Cross sectional analysis
Funding agency
Not reported
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Pre menopausal
Post menopausal
Number in Cohort
Cohort: 296 (105 pre) (191 post)
Cohort participation rate
Retention/participation exceeded 70% for exposed a
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
In: participants of the Chicago Breast Health Project: age 40 years or older; no personal history of breast cancer; not pregnant at the time of the study; no suspicious breast lumps; no screening mammography within the last 12 months Ex: had a screen-film mammography; did not self-identify as Hispanic
Comment about participation selection
Strengths: anthropometric data obtained by trained staff; questionnaire administered by interviewer; mammography reviewer was blinded to the radiologist report and patient history; one of the few studies to analyze the association of BMI and breast density in a Hispanic cohort; used a full-field digital mammography in which the images are acquired directly by a computer and the percentage of breast density is determined quantitatively Limitations: Did not analyze the association between breast density and breast cancer by BMI therefore no risk or odds ratios were reported; analyzed a sample with a high prevalence of overweight/obese women who also had a high prevalence of parity which could result in a low average percentage of breast density
How exposure was measured
Questionnaire, in person Anthropometric measurement, researcher-administered
Ethnic groups with separate analysis
If this study provided a separate analysis by ethnic or racial group, the groups are listed here.
Hispanic 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
Genetic characterization included
If the study analyzed relationships between environmental factors and inherited genetic variations, this field will be marked “Yes.” “No”, if not.
Results Comments
Breast density was strongly and inversely associated with BMI, this association was stronger for premenopausal women than for postmenopausal women.
Author address
Department of Preventive Medicine, The Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA. sgapstur@northwestern.edu