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Circulating sex hormones and breast cancer risk factors in postmenopausal women: Reanalysis of 13 studies

Key, TJ and Appleby, PN and Reeves, GK and Roddam, AW and Helzlsouer, KJ and Alberg, AJ and Rollison, DE and Dorgan, JF and Brinton, LA and Overvad, K and Kaaks, R and Trichopoulou, A and Clavel-Chapelon, F and Panico, S and Duell, EJ and Peeters, PHM and Rinaldi, S and Fentiman, IS and Dowsett, M and Manjer, J and Lenner, P and Hallmans, G and Baglietto, L and English, DR and Giles, GG and Hopper, JL and Severi, G and Morris, HA and Hankinson, SE and Tworoger, SS and Koenig, K and Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, A and Arslan, AA and Toniolo, P and Shore, RE and Krogh, V and Micheli, A and Berrino, F and Barrett-Connor, E and Laughlin, GA and Kabuto, M and Akiba, S and Stevens, RG and Neriishi, K and Land, CE and Cauley, JA and Lui, LY and Cummings, SR and Gunter, MJ and Rohan, TE and Strickler, HD (2011) Circulating sex hormones and breast cancer risk factors in postmenopausal women: Reanalysis of 13 studies. British Journal of Cancer, 105 (5). 709 - 722. ISSN 0007-0920

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Background: Breast cancer risk for postmenopausal women is positively associated with circulating concentrations of oestrogens and androgens, but the determinants of these hormones are not well understood. Methods: Cross-sectional analyses of breast cancer risk factors and circulating hormone concentrations in more than 6000 postmenopausal women controls in 13 prospective studies. Results: Concentrations of all hormones were lower in older than younger women, with the largest difference for dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS), whereas sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) was higher in the older women. Androgens were lower in women with bilateral ovariectomy than in naturally postmenopausal women, with the largest difference for free testosterone. All hormones were higher in obese than lean women, with the largest difference for free oestradiol, whereas SHBG was lower in obese women. Smokers of 15 cigarettes per day had higher levels of all hormones than non-smokers, with the largest difference for testosterone. Drinkers of 20 g alcohol per day had higher levels of all hormones, but lower SHBG, than non-drinkers, with the largest difference for DHEAS. Hormone concentrations were not strongly related to age at menarche, parity, age at first full-term pregnancy or family history of breast cancer.Conclusion:Sex hormone concentrations were strongly associated with several established or suspected risk factors for breast cancer, and may mediate the effects of these factors on breast cancer risk. © 2011 Cancer Research UK All Rights Reserved.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Key, TJ
Appleby, PN
Reeves, GK
Roddam, AW
Helzlsouer, KJ
Alberg, AJ
Rollison, DE
Dorgan, JF
Brinton, LA
Overvad, K
Kaaks, R
Trichopoulou, A
Clavel-Chapelon, F
Panico, S
Duell, EJ
Peeters, PHM
Rinaldi, S
Fentiman, IS
Dowsett, M
Manjer, J
Lenner, P
Hallmans, G
Baglietto, L
English, DR
Giles, GG
Hopper, JL
Severi, G
Morris, HA
Hankinson, SE
Tworoger, SS
Koenig, K
Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, A
Arslan, AA
Toniolo, P
Shore, RE
Krogh, V
Micheli, A
Berrino, F
Barrett-Connor, E
Laughlin, GA
Kabuto, M
Akiba, S
Stevens, RG
Neriishi, K
Land, CE
Cauley, JAJCauley@edc.pitt.eduJCAULEY
Lui, LY
Cummings, SR
Gunter, MJ
Rohan, TE
Strickler, HD
Date: 23 August 2011
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: British Journal of Cancer
Volume: 105
Number: 5
Page Range: 709 - 722
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1038/bjc.2011.254
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0007-0920
Article Type: Review
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2015 16:34
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2019 20:55


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