Birth weight, breast cancer and the potential mediating hormonal environment

Radek Bukowski, Rowan T. Chlebowski, Inger Thune, Anne Sofie Furberg, Gary Hankins, Fergal D. Malone, Mary E. D'Alton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Previous studies have shown that woman's risk of breast cancer in later life is associated with her infants birth weights. The objective of this study was to determine if this association is independent of breast cancer risk factors, mother's own birth weight and to evaluate association between infants birth weight and hormonal environment during pregnancy. Independent association would have implications for understanding the mechanism, but also for prediction and prevention of breast cancer. Methods and Findings: Risk of breast cancer in relation to a first infant's birth weight, mother's own birth weight and breast cancer risk factors were evaluated in a prospective cohort of 410 women in the Framingham Study. Serum concentrations of estriol (E3), anti-estrogen alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), and pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) were measured in 23,824 pregnant women from a separate prospective cohort, the FASTER trial. During follow-up (median, 14 years) 31 women (7.6 %) were diagnosed with breast cancer. Women with large birth weight infants (in the top quintile) had a higher breast cancer risk compared to other women (hazard ratio (HR), 2.5; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.2-5.2; P = 0.012). The finding was not affected by adjustment for birth weight of the mother and traditional breast cancer risk factors (adjusted HR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.2-5.6; P = 0.021). An infant's birth weight had a strong positive relationship with the mother's serum E3/AFP ratio and PAPP-A concentration during pregnancy. Adjustment for breast cancer risk factors did not have a material effect on these relationships. Conclusions: Giving birth to an infant with high birth weight was associated with increased breast cancer risk in later life, independently of mother's own birth weight and breast cancer risk factors and was also associated with a hormonal environment during pregnancy favoring future breast cancer development and progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere40199
JournalPLoS One
Volume7
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 17 2012

Fingerprint

Birth Weight
birth weight
breast neoplasms
Breast Neoplasms
risk factors
Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A
Mothers
pregnancy
alpha-Fetoproteins
Hazards
Pregnancy
blood proteins
confidence interval
Estriol
estriol
Confidence Intervals
Birth Order
Estrogens
pregnant women
Serum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Bukowski, R., Chlebowski, R. T., Thune, I., Furberg, A. S., Hankins, G., Malone, F. D., & D'Alton, M. E. (2012). Birth weight, breast cancer and the potential mediating hormonal environment. PLoS One, 7(7), [e40199]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0040199

Birth weight, breast cancer and the potential mediating hormonal environment. / Bukowski, Radek; Chlebowski, Rowan T.; Thune, Inger; Furberg, Anne Sofie; Hankins, Gary; Malone, Fergal D.; D'Alton, Mary E.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 7, No. 7, e40199, 17.07.2012.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bukowski, R, Chlebowski, RT, Thune, I, Furberg, AS, Hankins, G, Malone, FD & D'Alton, ME 2012, 'Birth weight, breast cancer and the potential mediating hormonal environment', PLoS One, vol. 7, no. 7, e40199. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0040199
Bukowski R, Chlebowski RT, Thune I, Furberg AS, Hankins G, Malone FD et al. Birth weight, breast cancer and the potential mediating hormonal environment. PLoS One. 2012 Jul 17;7(7). e40199. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0040199
Bukowski, Radek ; Chlebowski, Rowan T. ; Thune, Inger ; Furberg, Anne Sofie ; Hankins, Gary ; Malone, Fergal D. ; D'Alton, Mary E. / Birth weight, breast cancer and the potential mediating hormonal environment. In: PLoS One. 2012 ; Vol. 7, No. 7.
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abstract = "Background: Previous studies have shown that woman's risk of breast cancer in later life is associated with her infants birth weights. The objective of this study was to determine if this association is independent of breast cancer risk factors, mother's own birth weight and to evaluate association between infants birth weight and hormonal environment during pregnancy. Independent association would have implications for understanding the mechanism, but also for prediction and prevention of breast cancer. Methods and Findings: Risk of breast cancer in relation to a first infant's birth weight, mother's own birth weight and breast cancer risk factors were evaluated in a prospective cohort of 410 women in the Framingham Study. Serum concentrations of estriol (E3), anti-estrogen alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), and pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) were measured in 23,824 pregnant women from a separate prospective cohort, the FASTER trial. During follow-up (median, 14 years) 31 women (7.6 {\%}) were diagnosed with breast cancer. Women with large birth weight infants (in the top quintile) had a higher breast cancer risk compared to other women (hazard ratio (HR), 2.5; 95{\%} confidence interval (CI), 1.2-5.2; P = 0.012). The finding was not affected by adjustment for birth weight of the mother and traditional breast cancer risk factors (adjusted HR, 2.5; 95{\%} CI, 1.2-5.6; P = 0.021). An infant's birth weight had a strong positive relationship with the mother's serum E3/AFP ratio and PAPP-A concentration during pregnancy. Adjustment for breast cancer risk factors did not have a material effect on these relationships. Conclusions: Giving birth to an infant with high birth weight was associated with increased breast cancer risk in later life, independently of mother's own birth weight and breast cancer risk factors and was also associated with a hormonal environment during pregnancy favoring future breast cancer development and progression.",
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