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Obstet Gynecol. 1990 Sep;76(3 Pt 1):395-402.

Oral contraceptives and breast cancer: a case-control study with hospital and community controls.

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


Several recent reports have noted an increase risk of breast cancer associated with the use of oral contraceptives (OCs) among various subgroups of young women. These reports spurred us to analyze data from a case-control study in North Carolina of 158 breast cancer patients, 326 hospital controls, and 1140 community controls less than 60 years of age. A logistic regression model was used to calculate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals and to control for potential confounders. No association between ever-use of OCs and the risk of breast cancer was found for cases compared with either control group. No increased risk was observed for OC use before age 25 or before first full-term pregnancy, or in relation to duration of use, recency of use, or time since first use. Analysis of the subgroup of women less than 45 years of age also showed no relationship between OC use and breast cancer risk. However, an elevated risk of breast cancer was observed among nulliparous women with 5 or more years of OC use in comparisons with hospital controls (odds ratio 7.8) and community controls (odds ratio 2.3). This analysis was based on small numbers of subjects and the 95% confidence intervals touched or overlapped with 1. An unexpected association between duration of OC use and breast cancer risk was found among older premenopausal women in comparisons of cases with both control groups. For these women, a trend was evident in the odds ratio by duration of OC use, and the comparison between cases and community controls was statistically significant.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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