Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 187–193 | Cite as

Dual effect of short interval between first and second birth on ductal breast cancer risk in Finland

  • A. Kauppila
  • P. Kyyrönen
  • M. Lehtinen
  • E. PukkalaEmail author
Original paper



A short interval between the first and second birth was associated with an increased risk of advanced ductal breast cancer among women with 5+ childbirths in our previous study. We now evaluated the significance of this risk factor and its relation to the age at first birth among mothers with 2–4 children.


The cohort of 190,949 Finnish women with 2–4 children comprised 3,834 women with ductal breast cancer diagnosed before 2009. Conditional logistic regression for case–control design nested within the cohort was used to estimate proportional hazard ratios (HR) associated with the birth interval. Controls were matched for age and number of children. Age at the first birth and the interval from the last birth to cancer were co-variables.


Among women with the first birth <30 years, the HR of advanced ductal breast cancer at 50+ years for a short (<1.5 years) versus long (>3 years) interval between the first and second birth was 0.48 (95% Confidence Interval 0.33–0.70). Among women with the first birth at 30+ years, the HR of this cancer type diagnosed before the age of 50 years for a short versus long interval between the first and second birth was 5.83 (95% CI 2.30–14.8).


The interval between first and second birth strongly influences the risk of ductal breast cancer. Because second pregnancy soon after the first one decreased the risk of ductal breast cancer in young primiparas but increased the risk in older primiparas, it is likely that in such circumstances second pregnancy continues the actions initiated by the first pregnancy/breast-feeding.


Etiology of breast cancer Risk factor Pregnancy Age at first birth Birth interval Interval from birth to cancer 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Kauppila
    • 1
  • P. Kyyrönen
    • 2
  • M. Lehtinen
    • 3
  • E. Pukkala
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynaecologyOulu University HospitalOuluFinland
  2. 2.Finnish Cancer RegistryInstitute for Statistical and Epidemiological Cancer ResearchHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.School of Public HealthUniversity of TampereTampereFinland

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