Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 31–36

Parental age at birth and risk of breast cancer in daughters: a prospective study among US women

  • Graham A. Colditz
  • Walter C. Willett
  • Meir J. Stampfer
  • Charles H. Hennekens
  • Bernard Rosner
  • Frank E. Speizer
Research Papers

We examined the relation between parental age at birth and risk of breast cancer among daughters in a population of 118,309 US women who were 30 to 55 years of age in 1976 and without prior diagnosis of cancer. During 1,140,239 person-years of follow-up, we documented 1,799 incident cases of breast cancer in this population. After adjusting for established breast cancer risk factors, we observed only a weak and nonsignificant trend in risk of breast cancer with increasing maternal age at birth and no relation for paternal age. After adjusting for other risk factors, the chi trend was 1.10, P=0.27 for increasing maternal age at birth. Daughters born to mothers 30 to 34 years of age had an age-adjusted relative risk of breast cancer of 1.11 (95% confidence interval: 0.89, 1.37) compared to daughters born to mothers less than 20 years of age. The weak positive trend in risk with increasing maternal age was present among both pre-and postmenopausal women. These findings suggest that there is little or no association between maternal age and risk of breast cancer, and that paternal age is not related to risk of breast cancer.

Key words

Breast cancer maternal age paternal age prospective study USA 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    MacMahon B. Prenatal X-ray exposure and childhood cancer. JNCI 1962; 28: 1173–91.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Greenwald P, Barlow JJ, Nasca PC, Burnett WS. Vaginal cancer after maternal treatment with synthetic estrogens. N Engl J Med 1971; 285: 390–2.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Standfast SJ. Birth characteristics of women dying from breast cancer. JNCI 1967; 39: 33–42.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Rothman KJ, MacMahon B, Lin TM, et al. Maternal age and birth rank of women with breast cancer. JNCI 1980; 65: 719–22.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Henderson BE, Powell D, Rosario I, et al. An epidemiologic study of breast cancer. JNCI 1974; 53: 609–14.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Janerich DT, Hayden CL, Thompson WD, Selenskas SL, Mettlin C. Epidemiologic evidence of perinatal influence in the etiology of adult cancers. J Clin Epidemiol 1989; 42: 151–7.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Le Marchand L, Kolonel LN, Myers BC, Mi M-P. Birth characteristics of premenopausal women with breast cancer. Br J Cancer 1988; 57: 437–9.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Baron JA, Vessey M, McPherson K, Yeates D. Maternal age and breast cancer risk. JNCI 1984; 72: 13307–9.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Henderson BE, Bogdanoff E, Gerkins VR, SooHoo J, Arthur M. Evaluation of cancer risk factors in a retirement community. Cancer Res 1974; 34: 1045–8.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Thompson WD, Janerich DT. Maternal age at birth and risk of breast cancer in daughters. Epidemiol 1990; 1: 101–6.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Trichopoulos D. Hypothesis: does breast cancer originate in utero? Lancet 1990; 335: 939–40.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Depue RH, Pike MC, Henderson BE. Estrogen exposure during gestation and risk of testicular cancer. JNCI 1983; 71: 1151–5.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Petridou E, Panagiotopoulou H, Katsouyanni K, Spanos E, Trichopoulos D. Tobacco smoking, pregnancy estrogens and birth weight. Epidemiol 1990; 1: 247–50.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Vogel F, Rathenberg R. Spontaneous mutations in man. Adv Hum Genet 1975; 5: 223–318.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Riccardi VM, Dobson CE, Chakraborty R, Bontke C. The pathophysiology of neurofibromatosis: IX. Paternal age as a factor in the origin of new mutations. Am J Med Genet 1984; 18: 169–76.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Romieu I, Willett WC, Colditz GA, et al. A prospective study of oral contraceptive use and the risk of breast cancer in women. JNCI 1989; 81: 1313–21.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Colditz GA, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC, et al. Reproducibility and validity of self-reported menopausal status in a prospective cohort of women. Am J Epidemiol 1987; 126: 319–25.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Mantel N. Chi-square test with one degree of freedom: Extension of the Mantel-Haenszel procedure. J Amer Stat Assoc 1963; 58: 690–700.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Cox DR. Regression models and life-tables. JR Stat Soc (B) 1972; 34: 187–220.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Willett WC, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA, et al. Moderate alcohol consumption and risk of breast cancer. N Engl J Med 1987; 316: 1174–80.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Rapid Communications of Oxford Ltd 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graham A. Colditz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Walter C. Willett
    • 1
    • 4
  • Meir J. Stampfer
    • 1
    • 4
  • Charles H. Hennekens
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bernard Rosner
    • 5
  • Frank E. Speizer
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MedicineBrigham and Women's HospitalUSA
  2. 2.Harvard Medical SchoolUSA
  3. 3.Department of EpidemiologyHarvard Medical SchoolUSA
  4. 4.Department of NutritionHarvard Medical SchoolUSA
  5. 5.Department of BiostatisticsHarvard School of Public HealthUSA
  6. 6.Channing LaboratoryBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations