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Jpn J Clin Oncol. 1999 Mar;29(3):137-46.

Risk factors for breast cancer in Japan, with special attention to anthropometric measurements and reproductive history.

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Department of Cancer Control and Statistics, Osaka Medical Center for Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases, Japan.



Breast cancer incidence has increased rapidly in Japan recently, but there have been only a few studies on the risk factors for breast cancer in Japan. A case-control study was conducted to evaluate the roles of anthropometric and reproductive factors in the etiology of breast cancer in Osaka.


Based on information from a self-administered questionnaire at Osaka Medical Center for Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases, body mass index, body weight and height were compared between 376 cases and 430 controls, together with other factors such as age at menarche, age at first delivery and family history of breast cancer by menopausal status. Logistic regression analysis was employed for adjusting confounding factors and estimating odds ratios with their 95% confidence interval for breast cancer.


A body mass index of >25 was significantly associated with the risk among post-menopausal women (age-adjusted odds ratio: 1.90, 95% confidence interval: 1.10-3.24) as compared with the risk for a body mass index of < or = 20. A weight of > or =58 kg showed significantly increased risk compared with a weight of < or = 47 kg among post-menopausal women (1.83, 1.10-3.01), while height of > or = 159 cm showed a significantly elevated risk than height of < or = 149 cm among pre-menopausal women (2.51, 1.17-5.39). Age at menarche of < or = 13 years resulted in a higher risk of breast cancer among post-menopausal women, while age at first delivery of > or = 28 years was associated with the risk among pre-menopausal women. Family history of breast cancer was associated with the risk for breast cancer.


These results were all very consistent with findings observed in western countries.

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