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Am J Epidemiol. 1990 Feb;131(2):244-53.

Cigarette smoking and the risk of breast cancer.

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  • 1Division of Reproductive Health, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA.


The authors examined the relation between cigarette smoking and breast cancer in the Centers for Disease Control Cancer and Steroid Hormone Study, a multicenter, population-based case-control study. The study compared 4,720 women aged 20-54 years with newly diagnosed breast cancer identified through population-based tumor registries with 4,682 women randomly selected from the same geographic areas. Women who reported ever smoking cigarettes had a risk of breast cancer of 1.2 (95 percent confidence interval 1.1-1.3) compared with never smokers. There was no consistent dose-response pattern with any measure of smoking (pack-years of smoking, average number of cigarettes per day, or total years smoked) and little difference in risk between current and former smokers. There was some variation in risk by age, with slightly higher risk estimates for younger women than for older women. Although current smokers had an earlier natural menopause than did never smokers, the authors found no evidence of a protective effect of cigarette smoking on breast cancer risk. These findings suggest that the risk of breast cancer in women who smoke is the same as, or perhaps slightly higher than, women who have never smoked.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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