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Reproductive and menstrual factors and risk of ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast in a cohort of postmenopausal women

PURPOSE: The contribution of menstrual and reproductive factors to risk of ductal carcinoma (DCIS) of the breast is poorly understood. METHODS: The association between menstrual and reproductive factors and subsequent DCIS risk was examined in Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) clinical trial participants, in which mammography was protocol mandated. The cohort consisted of 64,060 women, among whom 664 cases of DCIS were ascertained over a median follow-up of 12.0 years. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). RESULTS: After adjustment for covariates, only older age at menopause (HR >/= 55 vs. 45-54 : 1.39, 95% CI 1.08-1.79) was significantly associated with risk; however, greater parity (HR >/= 5 live births vs. 0: 0.70, 95% CI 0.47-1.03), among parous women, and age at first live birth (HR >/= 30 years relative to <20 years: 1.32, 95% CI 0.92-1.90) were of borderline significance. Age at menarche and months of breast-feeding were not associated with risk. Associations did not differ between high- and low-/moderate-grade DCIS, or by level of body mass index or family history of breast cancer; however, there was a suggestion that the associations of age at menopause, parity, and age at first live birth were limited to women who had ever used hormone therapy. CONCLUSIONS: Findings from this large cohort of postmenopausal women suggest that age at menopause, and possibly, age at first live birth, and parity are associated with risk of DCIS, whereas age at menarche and duration of breast-feeding are not.

Authors: Kabat GC; Kim MY; Woods NF; Habel LA; Messina CR; Wactawski-Wende J; Stefanick ML; Chlebowski RT; Wassertheil-Smoller S; Rohan TE

Cancer Causes Control. 2011 Oct;22(10):1415-24. Epub 2011 Jul 13.

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