, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 351-358

Risk Factors for breast cancer among japanese women: A case-control study in Ibaraki, Japan

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The number of epidemiologic studies on breast cancer risk factors in Japanese women is still quite limited. Our objective was to clarify the relationship between lifestyle, body size and breast cancer risk.


A matched case-control study was conducted in Ibaraki, Japan. The participants were 148 women aged 26-69 diagnosed with breast cancer at Tsukuba University Hospital or Tsukuba Medical Center Hospital between January, 1990 and March, 1997. Two controls were individually matched to the cases by age and residence. A self-administered questionnaire was used to obtain information on the family history of breast cancer, reproductive history, education, body size and lifestyle factors. Conditional logistic regression analysis was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% Cl).


After adjustment for potential confounders, heavy weight and higher body mass index were associated with an increased risk of breast cancer among postmenopausal women (OR=1.76, 95% Cl=0.69, 4.48; OR= 1.57, 95% Cl=0.61, 3.99, respectively). Current or ex-smokers were found to be at an increased risk for breast cancer (OR=3.33; 95% Cl=l.63, 6.80). Women who take hot baths had a decreased risk for breast cancer (OR=0.67; 95% Cl=0.43, 1.06). Recreational physical activity was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer (PTrend= 0.005). OR for breast cancer among physically active women was 0.36 (95% Cl=0.19, 0.70), as compared with inactive women. Taller women had an increased risk of breast cancer relative to shorter women (OR=1.49; 95% d=0.83, 2.70). No significant association between alcohol consumption and breast cancer risk was detected.


Our results suggest that several potentially modifiable lifestyle factors may be useful for the prevention of breast cancer.