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Am J Epidemiol. 2000 Apr 15;151(8):754-64.

Body size and breast cancer risk in black women and white women: the Carolina Breast Cancer Study.

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Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA.


The relation between body size and breast cancer risk was investigated in a population-based, case-control study of Black women (350 cases, 353 controls) and White women (523 cases, 471 controls) from North Carolina, aged 20-74 years in 1993-1996. Logistic regression analyses compared tertiles of each body size variable, adjusting for age and breast cancer risk factors (results shown for highest relative to lowest tertile). Among premenopausal women, body mass index (kg/m2) was inversely associated with breast cancer (odds ratio (OR) = 0.46, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.26, 0.80) for Whites but not for Blacks. There was essentially no association among postmenopausal women. Higher waist/hip ratio, adjusted for body mass index, increased risk for all women. Odds ratios for Black and White premenopausal women were 2.50 (95% CI: 1.10, 5.67) and 2.44 (95% CI: 1.17, 5.09), respectively; odds ratios for Black and White postmenopausal women were 1.62 (95% CI: 0.70, 3.79) and 1.64 (95% CI: 0.88, 3.07), respectively. Findings for body mass index differed among Black women when stratified by age (<50 years) (OR = 0.50, 95% CI: 0.25, 1.01) instead of menopausal status. Thus, the associations of breast cancer with body mass index and waist/hip ratio among Black women are similar to those documented for Whites, despite different body size profiles on average.

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