Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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Residential environmental exposures and other characteristics associated with detectable PAH-DNA adducts in peripheral mononuclear cells in a population-based sample of adult females
Shantakumar, S., Gammon, M. D., Eng, S. M., Sagiv, S. K., Gaudet, M. M., Teitelbaum, S. L., Britton, J. A., Terry, M. B., Paykin, A., Young, T. L., Wang, L. W., Wang, Q., Stellman, S. D., Beyea, J., Hatch, M., Camann, D., Prokopczyk, B., Kabat, G. C., Levin, B., Neugut, A. I., Santella, R. M. J Expo Anal Environ Epidemiol. 2005. .
Topic area
Environmental pollutant - PAH
Study design
Exposure assessment within population-based case-control study
Funding agency
NCI, NIEH Other: Breast Cancer Research Foundation
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Pre menopausal
Post menopausal
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
Adult female residents of Long Island, New York identified in 1996-1997 and participating in the Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project; control subjects only; matched to cases by age. For dust samples, resident in current home at least 15 years. (See Gammon et al. 2002)
Comment about participation selection
(See Gammon et al. 2002)
Exposure Investigated
Exposures investigated
PAH-DNA adducts measured in blood samples collected near reference date, ELISA method, categorized as detect/nondetect and log-transformed continuous variable. Residential soil (n = 360), indoor carpet dust (n = 356) by GC/MS method. Carpet dust collecte
How exposure was measured
Biological Environmental sample Questionnaire, in person Questionnaire, self-administered GIS/geographic location Other: Environmental model
Exposure assessment comment
The time period of exposure relevant to the exposure measure is unknown.
Statistical Analysis
Ethnic groups with separate analysis
If this study provided a separate analysis by ethnic or racial group, the groups are listed here.
African 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.
Age, race, ethnicity, education, marital status, religion, household income, length of residence in interview home, county of residence, age at menarche, parity, age at first birth, breastfeeding, menopausal status, history of fertility problem, BMI at re
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
Unconditional logistic regression; linear regression.
Strength of associations reported
Women in the highest quintile of fruit and vegetable intake had lowest odds of detectable PAH-DNA adducts. Overall associations with diet were inconsistent.
Women who smoked had higher odds of detectable adducts regardless of when they started smoking.
Women had increased odds of detectable adducts if they donated blood in summer (OR-2.65, 95% CI 1.69-4.18) or fall (OR = 1.59, 95% CI 1.08-2.32), but not winter compared with spring.
Highest income ($90,000+) compared with < $20,000 OR=1.94 (1.08-3.49)
Higher BMI at reference associated with higher adducts.
Soil BaP was associated with increased adducts, but carpet dust measures were inversely related.
Results Comments
This analysis of correlates of PAH-DNA adducts in an older general population contributes to understanding of sources of exposure and potential confounders in breast cancer studies. Authors note that older age is related to higher adduct levels, reduced repair capacity, so that the relationship between exposure and adduct formation may vary by age. Authors note inconsistent relationships with diet may be due to bias in self-reported intake, use of food intake over a decade with a short-term adduct measure.
Author address
Department of Epidemiology, CB#7435 McGavran-Greenberg Hall, University of North Carolina School of Public Health, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7435, USA.