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Am J Epidemiol. 1991 Dec 1;134(11):1325-34.

Heterogeneity of breast cancer risk in families of young breast cancer patients and controls.

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  • 1Division of Epidemiology, Michigan Cancer Foundation, Detroit.


Familial heterogeneity of breast cancer risk was assessed among 4,159 first-degree female relatives of 1,074 population-based, young breast cancer cases (aged 20-54 years) diagnosed from December 1, 1980 to December 31, 1982 and 4,120 first-degree female relatives of 998 age- and race-matched, population-based controls from the metropolitan Detroit, Michigan, area. The family risk index method used for analysis considers family size, age, and race differences among families in the assessment of family risk. Families of cases showed a higher risk of breast cancer than did families of controls, with case families 1.80 to 4.24 times more likely to be defined as high risk than control families; the magnitude of the risk differential was dependent on the definition of high risk. Within the case families only, familial heterogeneity of risk was suggested, with a small proportion of families (less than 5%) at lower risk of breast cancer than most case families. A number of reproductive risk factors, age, race, and histologic type of cancer for the proband, and several family characteristics were investigated to help characterize the case families at higher and lower risk.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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