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Behav Med. 2010 Oct-Dec;36(4):123-9. doi: 10.1080/08964289.2010.516783.

Relationship between family history of breast cancer and health-related behavior.

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Regional Ministry of Health, La Rioja, Spain.


This article explores the relationship between family history of breast cancer (FHBC) and health-related behavior and medical management, using a cross-sectional analysis of 685 women, based on self-report. The influence of FHBC on lifestyle (alcohol use, physical activity, weight and diet) and medical management decisions (screening for chronic diseases) was assessed using odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). Adjustment for confounders was performed using unconditional logistic regression. Sixty five women (9.5%) reported relatives with breast cancer. Women with FHBC are more likely to have had a mammography and colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. These women have about twice the probability of performing more intense physical exercise, contrasting with high-risk women whose consumption of fibre is lower and sweets is higher. No significant association was found between alcohol consumption or Body Mass Index and family history. Spontaneous behavioral change to a more preventive lifestyle in relatives of cancer patients is very low.

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