Send to

Choose Destination
Br J Cancer. 2001 Sep 28;85(7):959-61.

Adult height and risk of breast cancer: a possible effect of early nutrition.

Author information

Department of Community Medicine and General Practice, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, University Medical Centre, N-7489 Trondheim, Norway.


The relationship of breast cancer to early reproductive development and height suggests that fetal and childhood nutrition may be important in its aetiology. Caloric restriction sufficient to reduce adult height may reduce breast cancer risk. During World War II (WWII) there was a marked reduction in average caloric intake in Norway that resulted in greater nutritional diversity. We hypothesized that a positive association between height and risk of breast cancer would be stronger among women who were born during this period than among women born before or after the war. A total of 25 204 Norwegian women were followed up for approximately 11 years, and 215 incident cases of breast cancer were registered. We found the strongest positive association between height and breast cancer among women born during WWII: women in the tallest tertile (>167 cm) had a relative risk of 2.5 (95% confidence interval = 1.2-5.5) compared with the shortest (< or = 162 cm). Among women born before or after the war we found no clear association with height. The association with height in the WWII cohort may imply a role for early nutrition in breast cancer aetiology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center