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BMJ. 1999 Oct 16;319(7216):1027-30.

Stressful life events and difficulties and onset of breast cancer: case-control study.

Author information

  • 1Department of Liaison Psychiatry, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds LS1 3EX. dprotheroe@tnh.vic.gov.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the relation between stressful life events and difficulties and the onset of breast cancer.

DESIGN:

Case-control study.

SETTING:

3 NHS breast clinics serving west Leeds.

PARTICIPANTS:

399 consecutive women, aged 40-79, attending the breast clinics who were Leeds residents.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Odds ratios of the risk of developing breast cancer after experiencing one or more severe life events, severe difficulties, severe 2 year non-personal health difficulties, or severe 2 year personal health difficulties in the 5 years before clinical presentation.

RESULTS:

332 (83%) women participated. Women diagnosed with breast cancer were no more likely to have experienced one or more severe life events (adjusted odds ratio 0.91, 95% confidence interval 0.47 to 1. 81; P=0.79); one or more severe difficulties (0.86, 0.41 to 1.81; P=0.69); a 2 year severe non-personal health difficulty (0.53, 0.12 to 2.31; P=0.4); or a 2 year severe personal health difficulty (2.73, 0.68 to 10.93; P=0.16) than women diagnosed with a benign breast lump.

CONCLUSION:

These findings do not support the hypothesis that severe life events or difficulties are associated with onset of breast cancer.

Comment in

PMID:
10521192
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC28252
Free PMC Article

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