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Breast J. 2018 May;24(3):334-338. doi: 10.1111/tbj.12941. Epub 2017 Oct 24.

Breast density in multiethnic women presenting for screening mammography.

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Department of Surgery, Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC, USA.
Georgetown University Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Washington, DC, USA.
Department of Biostatics, Bioinformatics, and Biomathematics, Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC, USA.
Department of Radiology, Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC, USA.
Capital Breast Care Center, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Washington, DC, USA.


Data on ethnic variations in breast density are limited and often not inclusive of underrepresented minorities. As breast density is associated with elevated breast cancer risk, investigating racial and ethnic difference may elucidate the observed differences in breast cancer risk among different populations. We reviewed breast density from initial screening of women from the Capital Breast Care Center and Georgetown University Hospital from 2010 to 2014. Patient demographics including race, age at screening, education, menopausal status, and body mass index were abstracted. We recorded the BI-RADS density categories: (1) "fatty," (2) "scattered fibroglandular densities," (3) "heterogeneously dense," and (4) "extremely dense." Multivariable unconditional logistic regression was used to identify predictors of breast density. Density categorization was recorded for 2146 women over the 5-year period, comprising Blacks (n = 940), Hispanics (n = 893), and Whites (n = 314). Analysis of subject characteristics by breast density showed that high category is observed in younger, Hispanic, nulliparous, premenopausal, and nonobese women (t-test or chi-square test, P-values <.0001). Obese women are 70% less likely to have high density. Being Hispanic, premenopausal, and nonobese were predictive of high density on logistic regression. In this analysis of density distribution in a diverse sample, Hispanic women have the highest breast density, followed by Blacks and Whites. Unique in our findings is women who identify as Hispanic have the highest breast density and lower rates of obesity. Further investigation of the impact of obesity on breast density, especially in the understudied Hispanic group is needed.


BI-RADS; Blacks; Hispanics; mammographic density

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