, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 29-39

Serum organochlorines and breast cancer: a case–control study among African-American women

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This population-based case–control study of African-American women (355 breast cancer case patients, 327 controls) examined the association between breast cancer and circulating levels of PCBs and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethene (DDE), a metabolite of DDT. Case patients were diagnosed with invasive breast carcinoma and interviewed between June 1995 and July 1998, and control subjects were identified by random digit dialing methods. Serum levels of DDE and total PCBs were adjusted for total lipid content. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using multivariable unconditional logistic regression methods. Effect modification by tumor receptor status and cancer treatment was investigated. Breast cancer risk was not associated with increasing quintiles of lipid-adjusted PCBs or DDE (highest versus lowest quintile adjusted for age, body mass index (BMI) and breastfeeding for DDE: OR = 1.02, 95% CI = (0.61, 1.72), p-trend = 0.74; for PCBs: OR = 1.01, 95% CI = (0.63, 1.63), p-trend = 0.56). Risk did not differ by strata of BMI, breastfeeding, parity, menopausal status or tumor receptor status. This study, the largest study of African-American women to date, does not support a role of DDE and total PCBs in breast cancer risk at the levels measured.