Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 227–236 | Cite as

A meta-analysis of the association between induced abortion and breast cancer risk among Chinese females

  • Yubei Huang
  • Xiaoliang Zhang
  • Weiqin Li
  • Fengju Song
  • Hongji Dai
  • Jing Wang
  • Ying Gao
  • Xueou Liu
  • Chuan Chen
  • Ye Yan
  • Yaogang Wang
  • Kexin ChenEmail author
Original paper



To evaluate the association between induced abortion (IA) and breast cancer risk among Chinese females.


We searched three English databases (PubMed, ScienceDirect, and Wiley) and three Chinese databases (CNKI, WanFang, and VIP) for studies up to December 2012, supplemented by manual searches. Two reviewers independently conducted the literature searching, study selection, and data extraction and quality assessment of included studies. Random effects models were used to estimate the summary odds ratios (ORs) and the 95 % confidence intervals (CIs).


A total of 36 articles (two cohort studies and 34 case–control studies) covering 14 provinces in China were included in this review. Compared to people without any history of IA, an increased risk of breast cancer was observed among females who had at least one IA (OR = 1.44, 95 % CI 1.29–1.59, I 2 = 82.6 %, p < 0.001, n = 34). No significant publication bias was found among the included studies (Egger test, p = 0.176). The risk increased to 1.76 (95 % CI 1.39–2.22) and 1.89 (95 % CI 1.40–2.55) for people who had at least two IAs and at least three IAs, respectively. Subgroup analyses showed similar results to the primary results. Meta-regression analysis of the included studies found that the association between IA and breast cancer risk attenuated with increasing percent of IA in the control group (β = −0.022, p < 0.001).


IA is significantly associated with an increased risk of breast cancer among Chinese females, and the risk of breast cancer increases as the number of IA increases. If IA were to be confirmed as a risk factor for breast cancer, high rates of IA in China may contribute to increasing breast cancer rates.


Induced abortion Breast cancer Systematic review Meta-analysis 



This work was supported partially by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grants 81172762), program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University in China (Grant IRT1076), National Key Scientific and Technological Project (Grant 2011ZX09307-001-04), Tianjin Science and Technology Committee Foundation (Grants 09ZCZDSF04800, and 09ZCZDSF04700), Tianjin Science and Technology Committee Foundation (Grants 12ZCDZSY16000, and 11ZCGYSY02200), and Major State Basic Research Development Program of China (973 Program, Grant 2009CB918903).

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (PPTX 53 kb)
10552_2013_325_MOESM2_ESM.pptx (56 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PPTX 56 kb)
10552_2013_325_MOESM3_ESM.pptx (43 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (PPTX 43 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yubei Huang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Xiaoliang Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Weiqin Li
    • 5
  • Fengju Song
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hongji Dai
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jing Wang
    • 4
  • Ying Gao
    • 4
  • Xueou Liu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Chuan Chen
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ye Yan
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yaogang Wang
    • 4
  • Kexin Chen
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Hospital and InstituteNational Clinical Research Center for CancerTianjinChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and TherapyTianjinChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Breast Cancer Prevention and TherapyTianjin Medical University, Ministry of EducationTianjinChina
  4. 4.Department of Social Medicines and Health Service Management, School of Public HealthTianjin Medical UniversityTianjinChina
  5. 5.Project OfficeTianjin Women’s and Children’s Health CenterTianjinChina

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