Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 145, Issue 1, pp 165–175 | Cite as

Modification of breast cancer risk according to age and menopausal status: a combined analysis of five population-based case–control studies

  • Amy Trentham-Dietz
  • Brian L. Sprague
  • John M. Hampton
  • Diana L. Miglioretti
  • Heidi D. Nelson
  • Linda J. Titus
  • Kathleen M. Egan
  • Patrick L. Remington
  • Polly A. Newcomb
Epidemiology

Abstract

While several risk factors for breast cancer have been identified, studies have not consistently shown whether these factors operate more strongly at certain ages or for just pre- or postmenopausal women. We evaluated whether risk factors for breast cancer differ according to age or menopausal status. Data from five population-based case–control studies conducted during 1988–2008 were combined and analyzed. Cases (N = 23,959) and population controls (N = 28,304) completed telephone interviews. Logistic regression was used to estimate adjusted odds ratios and 95 % confidence intervals and tests for interaction by age and menopausal status. Odds ratios for first-degree family history of breast cancer were strongest for younger women—reaching twofold elevations—but were still statistically significantly elevated by 58–69 % among older women. Obesity was inversely associated with breast cancer among younger women and positively associated with risk for older women (interaction P < 0.0001). Recent alcohol intake was more strongly related to breast cancer risk among older women, although consumption of 3 or more drinks/day among younger women also was associated with elevated odd ratios (P < 0.0001). Associations with benign breast disease and most reproductive/menstrual factors did not vary by age. Repeating analysis stratifying by menopausal status produced similar results. With few exceptions, menstrual and lifestyle factors are associated with breast cancer risk regardless of age or menopausal status. Variation in the association of family history, obesity, and alcohol use with breast cancer risk by age and menopausal status may need to be considered when determining individual risk for breast cancer.

Keywords

Case–control studies Breast neoplasms Alcohol drinking Obesity Risk factors Menopause Age factors 

Abbreviations

BI-RADS

Breast imaging-reporting and data system

BMI

Body mass index

CI

Confidence interval

ER

Estrogen receptor

HER2

Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2

ICD-O

International Classification of Diseases-Oncology

OR

Odds ratio

SE

Standard error

SEER

Surveillance, Epidemiology and End-Results

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amy Trentham-Dietz
    • 1
  • Brian L. Sprague
    • 2
  • John M. Hampton
    • 9
  • Diana L. Miglioretti
    • 3
    • 4
  • Heidi D. Nelson
    • 5
  • Linda J. Titus
    • 6
  • Kathleen M. Egan
    • 7
  • Patrick L. Remington
    • 1
  • Polly A. Newcomb
    • 8
    • 9
  1. 1.Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer CenterUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Surgery and Vermont Cancer CenterUniversity of VermontBurlingtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Public Health SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  4. 4.Group Health Research InstituteSeattleUSA
  5. 5.Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology and Medicine, Oregon Health & Sciences University, and Providence Cancer CenterProvidence Health and ServicesPortlandUSA
  6. 6.Geisel School of Medicine at DartmouthHanoverUSA
  7. 7.Moffitt Cancer CenterTampaUSA
  8. 8.Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterSeattleUSA
  9. 9.Carbone Cancer CenterUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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