Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 591–600

Breast Cancer Risk and the Combined Effect of Environmental Estrogens

Authors

  • jesús m. ibarluzea
    • Department of Health Guipuzkoa
  • Mariana F. Fernández
    • Laboratory of Medical InvestigationsHospital Clínico University of Granada
  • Loreto Santa-Marina
    • Department of Health Guipuzkoa
  • Maria F. Olea-Serrano
    • Laboratory of Medical InvestigationsHospital Clínico University of Granada
  • Ana M. Rivas
    • Laboratory of Medical InvestigationsHospital Clínico University of Granada
  • Juan J. Aurrekoetxea
    • Department of Health Guipuzkoa
  • José Expósito
    • Department of Health Guipuzkoa
  • Miguel Lorenzo
    • Department of SurgeryTorrecárdenas Hospital
  • Pablo Torné
    • Department of SurgeryHospital Clínico University of Granada
  • Mercedes Villalobos
    • Department of RadiotherapyHospital Clínico University of Granada
  • Vicente Pedraza
    • Department of RadiotherapyHospital Clínico University of Granada
  • Annie J. Sasco
    • International Agency for Research on Cancer and Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale
  • Nicolas Olea
    • Laboratory of Medical InvestigationsHospital Clínico University of Granada
Article

DOI: 10.1023/B:CACO.0000036167.51236.86

Cite this article as:
ibarluzea, j.m., Fernández, M.F., Santa-Marina, L. et al. Cancer Causes Control (2004) 15: 591. doi:10.1023/B:CACO.0000036167.51236.86

Abstract

Objective: The present study aimed to determine whether the combined effects of environmental estrogens measured as the total effective xenoestrogen burden (TEXB-alpha) are a risk factor for breast cancer over and above the risk potentially linked to specific pesticides.

Methods: We measured the levels of 16 organochlorine pesticides as well as TEXB in adipose tissue of 198 women at the time of breast cancer diagnosis. These were compared with findings in 260 age and hospital matched control women without breast cancer.

Results: The median levels of p,p′-DDE (1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene), aldrin, endosulfan ether and lindane (the pesticides detected in >40% of the study population) were higher in cases than controls, although the differences did not reach statistical significance. After adjusting for potential confounders, the odds ratio (OR) for breast cancer in women with detectable levels of aldrin was 1.55 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.00–2.40). Among the postmenopausal women, the OR for aldrin and lindane was 1.84 (95% CI 1.06–3.18) and 1.76 (95% CI 1.04–2.98), respectively. Among cases with body mass index (BMI) below the median (28.6 kg/m2), the OR was 3.42 (95% CI 1.22–9.58) for women in the highest quartile of TEXB-alpha versus those in the lowest. The subgroup of leaner postmenopausal women showed an increased risk (OR: 5.67; 95% CI 1.59–20.21) for those in the highest tertile versus those in the lowest.

Conclusions: We found an increased risk for breast cancer in the leaner women, especially in the leaner postmenopausal subgroup, related to the TEXB-alpha. The pesticides aldrin and lindane are also individually associated with risk.

breast cancerenvironmental estrogensepidemiologyorganochlorine pesticidesrisk factors

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004