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The association between telomere length and risk of breast cancer in Singapore Chinese Health Study

Xun, Xiaoshuang (2018) The association between telomere length and risk of breast cancer in Singapore Chinese Health Study. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Background: Telomeres are tandemly repeated sequences located at the distal ends of linear chromosomes, which play an important role in maintaining chromosome integrity and cell replication. Although numerous epidemiological studies have examined the association between telomere length and risk of breast cancer, the results are conflicting. In this study, we evaluated the association between telomere length and risk of breast cancer using the data from the Singapore Chinese Health Study, a prospective, population-based study. Methods: Study subjects were 14,306 women aged 45-74 years at enrollment in the Singapore Chinese Health Study. The subjects' information of demographics, lifestyle, and reproductive history was collected at enrollment and blood sample collection. Telomere length was measured using the qPCR method. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for risk of breast cancer associated with telomere length in quintiles were calculated using Cox proportional hazard regression, with adjustment for age at blood collection, level of education, body mass index (BMI), number of live births (0, 1-2, 3-4, or 5+) and age at first live birth (nulliparous, <20, 21-25, 26-30, or 31+ years). Results: Breast cancer risk was increased significantly in association with longer telomere length. Women with the highest quintile of telomere length had a 47% higher risk of breast cancer (HR = 1.47, 95% CI = 0.90-2.38, Ptrend = 0.01) compared with the lowest quintile. The association is apparent in women that were overweight/obese (HR = 2.0, 95% CI 1.02 - 3.91, Ptrend = 0.01); women who had menarche less than 14 years old (HR = 1.56, 95% CI 0.84-2.89, Ptrend = 0.01); women who gave first live birth 26 years old or older (HR = 1.74, 95% CI 0.86-3.54, Ptrend = 0.02); and women who had 3 or more children (HR = 1.64, 95% CI 0.83-3.23, Ptrend = 0.02). Conclusion: Longer telomere length is associated with increased risk of breast cancer in an Asian/Pacific Islander population. This finding could provide a significant benefit to public health, as it could serve as convincing evidence for telomere length measurement as a biomarker in breast cancer prevention and development.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Xun, Xiaoshuangxix49@pitt.eduxix49
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairYuan, JMyuanj@pitt.eduYUANJUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberOpresko, PLplo4@pitt.eduplo4UNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberSamavat, Hsamavath@upmc.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Hillman Cancer Center
Date: 23 April 2018
Date Type: Submission
Number of Pages: 37
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2019 20:14
Last Modified: 01 May 2020 05:15


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