Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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Obesity and breast cancer screening.[see comment]
Wee, C. C., McCarthy, E. P., Davis, R. B., Phillips, R. S. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2004. 19:4, 324-31.
Topic area
Body size
Funding agency
Other: Agency for Healthcare Research Quality
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Post menopausal
Number in Cohort
Cohort: 5,277 (3,880 white) (718 black)
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: women who participated in the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), an in-person household survey; women between age 50 and 75 years
Comment about participation selection
Strengths: examines the relationship between mammography use and weight category and the influence of race; in-person interviews; high participation rate Limitations: anthropometric data were self-reported
Exposure Investigated
How exposure was measured
Questionnaire, in person Anthropometric measurement, self-administered
Exposure assessment comment
Anthropometric data self-reported
Ethnic groups with separate analysis
If this study provided a separate analysis by ethnic or racial group, the groups are listed here.
African 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: sociodemographic factors, health care access, medical conditions, hospitalizations, and mobility status
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
Women with higher BMI were less likely to undergo breast cancer screening than normal weight women.
Author address
Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA. cweekuo@bidmc.harvard.edu