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Cancer Causes Control. 1997 Nov;8(6):841-9.

Induced and spontaneous abortion in relation to risk of breast cancer (United States).

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Slone Epidemiology Unit, School of Public Health, Boston University of Medicine, Brookline, MA 02146, USA.


The relation of induced and spontaneous abortion to the risk of breast cancer is evaluated in a hospital-based case-control interview study conducted in three cities in the United States from 1985 through 1995. Cases were 1,803 women aged 25 to 64 years with newly diagnosed invasive breast cancer; controls were 4,182 women of the same ages admitted for conditions unrelated to reproductive factors. Other breast cancer risk-factors were controlled through multiple logistic regression. The reference for all analyses was women who had never had an abortion, either induced or spontaneous. Among parous women, the relative risk (RR) estimate was 1.1 (95 percent confidence interval [CI] = 0.9-1.5) for induced abortion overall, 1.0 (CI = 0.7-1.4) for abortion before the first birth, and 1.3 (CI = 1.0-1.8) for abortion after at least one birth. Among nulliparous women, the relative risk estimate for induced abortion was 1.3 (CI = 0.9-1.9). There was no trend of increased risk with number of abortions, nor was there consistent evidence of an increased risk in any particular subgroup. Spontaneous abortion was not associated with increased risk of breast cancer, either among nulliparous women or among parous women. These findings provide little support for the hypothesis that induced abortion increases breast cancer risk overall or in particular subgroups.

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