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Int J Cancer. 2004 Jun 20;110(3):443-8.

Null association between pregnancy termination and breast cancer in a registry-based study of parous women.

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Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.


Studies suggesting a positive association between pregnancy termination and breast cancer risk have often been of retrospective case-control design, so subject to selection and recall biases. We undertook a registry-based analysis with minimal selection bias and prospective record-based ascertainment of terminations. The source population comprised Massachusetts women with a record of giving birth between 1987 and 1999 in the Massachusetts Vital Statistics Registry. Primary breast cancer cases were 25-55 years old at diagnosis between 1988 and 2000 and had a record of the diagnosis in the Massachusetts Cancer Registry. We matched 3 controls to each case on maternal age, year of giving birth and birth facility. Information on terminations (induced and spontaneous) before the birth of record, the matched factors and potential confounders were collected from the birth certificate. After adjustment for the matched factors, age, parity and maternal and paternal education, the odds ratio associating any termination history with breast cancer risk equaled 0.91 (95% CI = 0.79-1.05). The marginally protective adjusted odds ratio largely derived from a protective effect among women with parity equaled to 1 (OR for any termination = 0.68; 95% CI = 0.45-1.03), suggesting a protective effect of terminated pregnancy among women with one live birth.

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