Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 171, Issue 2, pp 421–426 | Cite as

Age at first full-term birth and breast cancer risk in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers

  • Joanne Kotsopoulos
  • Jacek Gronwald
  • Henry T. Lynch
  • Andrea Eisen
  • Susan L. Neuhausen
  • Nadine Tung
  • Peter Ainsworth
  • Jeffrey N. Weitzel
  • Tuya Pal
  • William D. Foulkes
  • Charis Eng
  • Christian F. Singer
  • Leigha Senter
  • Ping Sun
  • Jan Lubinski
  • Steven A. NarodEmail author
  • the Hereditary Breast Cancer Clinical Study Group



In the general population, an early age at first full-term birth confers protection against the risk of developing breast cancer. The relationship between age at first birth and breast cancer risk is not clear for women with a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. Thus, we undertook a case–control study of women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation to study the effects of age at first full-term birth matched for other reproductive factors.


Information about reproductive factors, including age at first birth as well as medical history, was collected from a routinely administered research questionnaire. There were 2,295 matched pairs of women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation included in the final analysis.


There was no significant difference in the mean age at first full-term birth among the BRCA1 (24.9 vs. 25.2; P = 0.10) or BRCA2 mutation carriers (26.5 vs. 26.6 years; P = 0.80). Findings were similar in the analysis limited to cases who were diagnosed with breast cancer prior to age 45.


This matched analysis of a large number of BRCA mutation carriers suggests that age at first birth has little influence on BRCA1 or BRCA2 breast cancer risk.


BRCA1 BRCA2 Breast cancer Age at first birth 



We would like to acknowledge the study staff, students, and volunteers including Shana Kim, Farah Shoukat, Ellen MacDougall, Zoella Pasta, Nida Mian, Jennifer Ng, Sarah Chin, Hamida Begum, Harmeet Chaudhary, Asrafi Azmi, Shahana Nargis, Clotilde Ngwa, Mai Abdelhadi, Saiveena Penikalapati, Laavanya Somasundaram, and Hannah Horvath who helped with the data collection and data entry.

Other members of the Hereditary Breast Cancer Clinical Study Group: Beth Karlan, Barry Rosen, Tomasz Huzarski, Pal Moller, William D. Foulkes, Georgia Wiesner, Louise Bordeleau, Eitan Friedman, Wendy Meschino, Carrie Snyder, Kelly Metcalfe, Aletta Poll, Nicole Gojska, Ellen Warner, Susan Armel, Rochelle Demsky, Karen Panabaker, Melanie Taylor, Fergus Couch, Siranoush Manoukian, Barbara Pasini, Mary B. Daly, Linda Steele, Howard Saal, Taya Fallen, Marie Wood, Wendy McKinnon, Edmond Lemire, Albert E. Chudley, Kim Serfas, Kevin Sweet, Seema Panchal, Christine Elser, Ophira Ginsburg, Stephanie Hurst, Carey A. Cullinane, Robert E. Reilly, Joanne L. Blum, Theodora Ross, Caitlin Mauer, Ava Kwong, Cezary Cybulski, Jeanna McCuaig, Daniel Rayson, and Claudine Isaacs.


Joanne Kotsopoulos is the recipient of a Canada Research Chair (Tier II). Steven A. Narod is the recipient of a Canada Research Chair (Tier I). This study was supported by a Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute grant (703058). This work was supported the Peter Gilgan Tour de Bleu Foundation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10549_2018_4822_MOESM1_ESM.docx (53 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 52 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joanne Kotsopoulos
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jacek Gronwald
    • 3
  • Henry T. Lynch
    • 4
  • Andrea Eisen
    • 5
  • Susan L. Neuhausen
    • 6
  • Nadine Tung
    • 7
  • Peter Ainsworth
    • 8
  • Jeffrey N. Weitzel
    • 9
  • Tuya Pal
    • 10
  • William D. Foulkes
    • 11
  • Charis Eng
    • 12
  • Christian F. Singer
    • 13
  • Leigha Senter
    • 14
  • Ping Sun
    • 1
  • Jan Lubinski
    • 3
  • Steven A. Narod
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • the Hereditary Breast Cancer Clinical Study Group
  1. 1.Women’s College Research InstituteWomen’s College HospitalTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Dalla Lana School of Public HealthUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of Genetics and Pathology, International Hereditary Cancer CenterPomeranian Medical UniversitySzczecinPoland
  4. 4.Department of Preventive Medicine and Public HealthCreighton University School of MedicineOmahaUSA
  5. 5.Toronto-Sunnybrook Regional Cancer CenterTorontoCanada
  6. 6.Division of Biomarkers of Early Detection and Prevention, Department of Population SciencesBeckman Research Institute of City of HopeDuarteUSA
  7. 7.Beth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterBostonUSA
  8. 8.London Health SciencesLondonCanada
  9. 9.City of Hope National Medical CenterDuarteUSA
  10. 10.Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center/Vanderbilt University Medical CenterNashvilleUSA
  11. 11.Department of Oncology and Human Genetics, Programs in Cancer GeneticsMcGill UniversityMontréalCanada
  12. 12.Cleveland ClinicGenomic Medicine Institute and Center for Personalized Genetic HealthcareClevelandUSA
  13. 13.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Comprehensive Cancer CenterMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria
  14. 14.Division of Human GeneticsThe Ohio State University Medical Center, Comprehensive Cancer CenterColumbusUSA

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