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Relation of childhood height and later risk of breast cancer

The authors sought to examine the hypothesis that girls who were relatively tall during the prepubescent period (indicative of an affluent diet and good general health) were at increased risk of subsequent breast cancer. They conducted a case-control study of 214 long-term members who were diagnosed with breast cancer during 1973-1995 and who were age 12 years or younger when they first joined Kaiser Permanente and of 214 appropriately matched controls. Information was obtained from the medical records. While the authors observed the expected association of adult height with risk of breast cancer (height at age 15-18 years, tall-for-age vs. short-for-age: odds ratio = 2.2, 95% confidence interval: 1.1, 4.3), the association was no stronger earlier in life (height at age 9-11 years: odds ratio = 1.0, 95% confidence interval: 0.5, 1.8). The study does not support a relation between pubertal skeletal growth and adult risk of breast cancer. However, it is limited by the inclusion of few postmenopausal women.

Authors: Herrinton LJ; Husson G

Am J Epidemiol. 2001 Oct 1;154(7):618-23.

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