Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 591–600 | Cite as

Breast Cancer Risk and the Combined Effect of Environmental Estrogens

  • jesús m. ibarluzea
  • Mariana F. Fernández
  • Loreto Santa-Marina
  • Maria F. Olea-Serrano
  • Ana M. Rivas
  • Juan J. Aurrekoetxea
  • José Expósito
  • Miguel Lorenzo
  • Pablo Torné
  • Mercedes Villalobos
  • Vicente Pedraza
  • Annie J. Sasco
  • Nicolas Olea
Article

Abstract

Objective: The present study aimed to determine whether the combined effects of environmental estrogens measured as the total effective xenoestrogen burden (TEXB-alpha) are a risk factor for breast cancer over and above the risk potentially linked to specific pesticides.

Methods: We measured the levels of 16 organochlorine pesticides as well as TEXB in adipose tissue of 198 women at the time of breast cancer diagnosis. These were compared with findings in 260 age and hospital matched control women without breast cancer.

Results: The median levels of p,p′-DDE (1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene), aldrin, endosulfan ether and lindane (the pesticides detected in >40% of the study population) were higher in cases than controls, although the differences did not reach statistical significance. After adjusting for potential confounders, the odds ratio (OR) for breast cancer in women with detectable levels of aldrin was 1.55 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.00–2.40). Among the postmenopausal women, the OR for aldrin and lindane was 1.84 (95% CI 1.06–3.18) and 1.76 (95% CI 1.04–2.98), respectively. Among cases with body mass index (BMI) below the median (28.6 kg/m2), the OR was 3.42 (95% CI 1.22–9.58) for women in the highest quartile of TEXB-alpha versus those in the lowest. The subgroup of leaner postmenopausal women showed an increased risk (OR: 5.67; 95% CI 1.59–20.21) for those in the highest tertile versus those in the lowest.

Conclusions: We found an increased risk for breast cancer in the leaner women, especially in the leaner postmenopausal subgroup, related to the TEXB-alpha. The pesticides aldrin and lindane are also individually associated with risk.

breast cancer environmental estrogens epidemiology organochlorine pesticides risk factors 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • jesús m. ibarluzea
    • 1
  • Mariana F. Fernández
    • 2
  • Loreto Santa-Marina
    • 3
  • Maria F. Olea-Serrano
    • 2
  • Ana M. Rivas
    • 2
  • Juan J. Aurrekoetxea
    • 1
  • José Expósito
    • 3
  • Miguel Lorenzo
    • 4
  • Pablo Torné
    • 5
  • Mercedes Villalobos
    • 6
  • Vicente Pedraza
    • 6
  • Annie J. Sasco
    • 7
  • Nicolas Olea
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Health GuipuzkoaBasque CountrySpain
  2. 2.Laboratory of Medical InvestigationsHospital Clínico University of GranadaGranadaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Health GuipuzkoaBasque CountrySpain
  4. 4.Department of SurgeryTorrecárdenas HospitalAlmeríaSpain
  5. 5.Department of SurgeryHospital Clínico University of GranadaGranadaSpain
  6. 6.Department of RadiotherapyHospital Clínico University of GranadaGranadaSpain
  7. 7.International Agency for Research on Cancer and Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche MédicaleLyonFrance

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