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Am J Epidemiol. 2011 Sep 15;174(6):642-51. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwr123. Epub 2011 Aug 9.

Body size in early life and adult levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3.

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  • 1Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 181 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA. liz.poole@channing.harvard.edu

Abstract

Body size in early life has been associated with breast cancer risk. This may be partly mediated through the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) pathway. The authors assessed whether birth weight, body fatness at ages 5 and 10 years, and body mass index (BMI; weight (kg)/height (m)(2)) at age 18 years were associated with plasma concentrations of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 in 6,520 women aged 32-70 years at blood draw from the Nurses' Health Study (1990-2006) and Nurses' Health Study II (1997-2005). Birth weight, body fatness in childhood, and BMI at age 18 years were inversely associated with adult IGF-1 levels. For example, IGF-1 levels were 11.9% lower in women who reported being heaviest at age 10 years than in those who were leanest at age 10 (P-trend < 0.0001). Further, women who reported their birth weight as ≥10 pounds (≥4.5 kg) (vs. <5.5 pounds (<2.5 kg)) had 7.9% lower IGF-1 levels (P-trend = 0.002). Women whose BMI at age 18 years was ≥30 (vs. <20) had 14.1% lower IGF-1 levels (P-trend < 0.0001). Similar inverse associations were observed for insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3. These observations did not vary by adult BMI or menopausal status at blood draw. These findings suggest that altered IGF-1 levels in adulthood may be a mechanism through which early-life body size influences subsequent breast cancer risk.

PMID:
21828371
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3166705
Free PMC Article
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