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Am J Epidemiol. 2000 Apr 1;151(7):715-22.

Age at any full-term pregnancy and breast cancer risk.

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School of Public Health and Graduate Institute of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei.


The authors analyzed data from two multistate, population-based case-control studies to investigate the association between age at any full-term pregnancy (FP) and breast cancer risk. Study subjects included breast cancer cases aged 20-79 years identified from four statewide cancer registries and randomly selected controls interviewed from 1988 to 1996. Complete information on a comprehensive set of risk factors for breast cancer was available for 9,891 cases and 12,271 controls. The large number of subjects enabled simultaneous adjustment of the covariates and efficient application of various modeling approaches. Overall, each 5-year increase in age at first FP was associated with an odds ratio of 1.07 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01, 1.13) for breast cancer. The corresponding estimates were odds ratio = 1.02 (95% CI: 1.00, 1.05) for age at second through ninth FPs. For age at last FP, the effect estimate (odds ratio = 1.01, 95% CI: 0.97, 1.06) was indistinguishable from that for other FPs after the first. In this analysis, a modest and transient increase in breast cancer risk after childbirth was also observed. The relatively greater effect of age at first FP is consistent with the existence of a long-term effect of early first FP on the differentiation of mammary cells, causing them to become less susceptible to carcinogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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