Is the association of birth weight with premenopausal breast cancer risk mediated through childhood growth?


Dos Santos Silva, I; de Stavola, BL; Hardy, RJ; Kuh, DJ; McCormack, VA; Wadsworth, ME; (2004) Is the association of birth weight with premenopausal breast cancer risk mediated through childhood growth? British journal of cancer, 91 (3). pp. 519-24. ISSN 0007-0920 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bjc.6601972

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Abstract

Several studies have found positive associations between birth weight and breast cancer risk at premenopausal ages. The mechanisms underlying this association are not known, but it is possible that it may be mediated through childhood growth. We examined data from a British cohort of 2176 women born in 1946 and for whom there were prospective measurements of birth weight and of body size throughout life. In all, 59 breast cancer cases occurred during follow-up, 21 of whom were known to be premenopausal. Women who weighed at least 4 kg at birth were five times (relative risk (RR)=5.03; 95% confidence interval=1.13, 22.5) more likely to develop premenopausal breast cancer than those who weighed less than 3 kg (P-value for linear trend=0.03). This corresponded to an RR of 2.31 (0.95, 5.64) per 1 kg increase in birth weight. Birth weight was also a predictor of postnatal growth, that is, women who were heavy at birth remained taller and heavier throughout their childhood and young adulthood. However, the effect of birth weight on premenopausal breast cancer risk was only reduced slightly after simultaneous adjustment for height and body mass index (BMI) at age 2 years and height and BMI velocities throughout childhood and adolescence (adjusted RR=1.94 (0.74, 5.14) per 1 kg increase in birth weight). The pathways through which birth weight is associated with premenopausal breast cancer risk seem to be largely independent of those underlying the relation of postnatal growth to risk.British Journal of Cancer (2004) 91, 519-524. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6601972 www.bjcancer.com Published online 13 July 2004

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Medical Statistics
Research Centre: Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 15266328
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/6283

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