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Am J Epidemiol. 2011 Jan 15;173(2):201-16. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwq345. Epub 2010 Nov 17.

Adult body size, hormone receptor status, and premenopausal breast cancer risk in a multiethnic population: the San Francisco Bay Area breast cancer study.

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  • 1Cancer Prevention Institute of California, Fremont, 94538, USA.


Large body size has been associated with a reduced risk of premenopausal breast cancer in non-Hispanic white women. Data on other racial/ethnic populations are limited. The authors examined the association between premenopausal breast cancer risk and adult body size in 672 cases and 808 controls aged ≥35 years from a population-based case-control study conducted in 1995-2004 in the San Francisco Bay Area (Hispanics: 375 cases, 483 controls; African Americans: 154 cases, 160 controls; non-Hispanic whites: 143 cases, 165 controls). Multivariate adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated using unconditional logistic regression. Height was associated with increased breast cancer risk (highest vs. lowest quartile: odds ratio = 1.77, 95% confidence interval: 1.23, 2.53; P(trend) < 0.01); the association did not vary by hormone receptor status or race/ethnicity. Body mass index (measured as weight (kg) divided by height (m) squared) was inversely associated with risk in all 3 racial/ethnic groups, but only for estrogen receptor- and progesterone receptor-positive tumors (body mass index ≥30 vs. <25: odds ratio = 0.42; 95% confidence interval: 0.29, 0.61). Other body size measures (current weight, body build, adult weight gain, young adult weight and body mass index, waist circumference, and waist-to-height ratio) were similarly inversely associated with risk of estrogen receptor- and progesterone receptor-positive breast cancer but not estrogen receptor- and progesterone receptor-negative disease. Despite racial/ethnic differences in body size, inverse associations were similar across the 3 racial/ethnic groups when stratified by hormone receptor status.

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