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          Plasma organochlorine levels and the risk of breast cancer.

          Exposure to "environmental estrogens" such as organochlorines in pesticides and industrial chemicals has been proposed as a cause of increasing rates of breast cancer. Several studies have reported higher blood levels of 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene (DDE) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in patients with breast cancer than in controls. We measured plasma levels of DDE and PCBs prospectively among 240 women who gave a blood sample in 1989 or 1990 and who were subsequently given a diagnosis of breast cancer before June 1, 1992. We compared these levels with those measured in matched control women in whom breast cancer did not develop. Data on DDE were available for 236 pairs, and data on PCBs were available for 230 pairs. The median level of DDE was lower among case patients than among controls (4.71 vs. 5.35 parts per billion, P=0.14), as was the median level of PCBs (4.49 vs. 4.68 parts per billion, P=0.72). The multivariate relative risk of breast cancer for women in the highest quintile of exposure as compared with women in the lowest quintile was 0.72 for DDE (95 percent confidence interval, 0.37 to 1.40) and 0.66 for PCBs (95 percent confidence interval, 0.32 to 1.37). Exposure to high levels of both DDE and PCBs was associated with a nonsignificantly lower risk of breast cancer (relative risk for women in the highest quintiles of both DDE and PCBs as compared with women in the lowest, 0.43; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.13 to 1.44). Our data do not support the hypothesis that exposure to DDT and PCBs increases the risk of breast cancer.
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            Breast cancer, lactation history, and serum organochlorines.

            I Romieu (2000)
            The authors analyzed the relation between lactation history, organochlorine serum levels-in particular, 2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)-1,1,1-trichloroethane (DDT) and 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene (DDE)-and the risk of breast cancer within a subsampe from a larger breast cancer case-control study conducted among women living in Mexico City, Mexico, between 1990 and 1995. From the original study, they selected a random sample of 260 subjects (1:1 case/control ratio). Analysis was restricted to 120 cases and 126 controls who had given birth to at least one child and had complete information on all key variables. Serum DDE levels were higher among cases (mean = 3.84 microg/g lipids, standard deviation = 5.98) than among controls (mean = 2.51 microg/g lipids, standard deviation = 1.97). After adjustment for age, age at menarche, duration of lactation, Quetelet index, and serum DDT levels, serum DDE levels were positively related to the risk of breast cancer (adjusted odds ratio (OR)Q1-Q2 = 1.24, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.50, 3.06; ORQ1-Q3 = 2.31, 95% CI: 0.92, 5.86; ORQ1-Q4 = 3.81, 95% CI: 1.14, 12.80; test of trend, p = 0.02). The increased risk associated with higher serum DDE levels was more apparent among postmenopausal women (ORQ1-Q4 = 5.26, 95% CI: 0.80, 34.30; test of trend p = 0.03). A longer period of lactation was associated with a slightly decreased risk of breast cancer independently of serum DDE levels (OR = 0.91, 95% CI: 0.85, 0.99 change in risk per 10 months of lactation). Serum DDT level was not related to the risk of breast cancer. The data suggest that high levels of exposure to DDE may increase women's risk of breast cancer, particularly among postmenopausal women.
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              Observation and Inference—An Introduction to the Methods of Epidemiology


                Author and article information

                Salud Pública de México
                Salud pública Méx
                Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico )
                April 2000
                : 42
                : 2
                : 144-154
                [01] orgnameInstituto Nacional de Salud Pública orgdiv1Centro de Investigación en Salud Poblacional México
                [02] orgnameInstituto Nacional de Salud Pública orgdiv1Centro de Investigación en Sistemas de Salud México
                S0036-36342000000200010 S0036-3634(00)04200210

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