The effect of length of birth interval on the risk of breast cancer by subtype in grand multiparous women

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BMC Cancer. 2019 Mar 04;19(1):199

Title: The effect of length of birth interval on the risk of breast cancer by subtype in grand multiparous women
Author: Katuwal, Sushmita; Tapanainen, Juha S; Pukkala, Eero; Kauppila, Antti
Publisher: BioMed Central
Date: 2019-03-04
Language: eng
Abstract: Abstract Background The length of interval between successive childbirths (birth interval) might influence the incidence of breast cancer, either by stimulating or by inhibiting the factors that are responsible for the initiation of breast cancer or its early development. Methods This is a case-control study nested in a cohort of 47,479 Finnish grand-multiparous (GM) women born after 1934, and registered as having had at least five births before 2013. The 1354 women with breast cancer diagnosis were compared with controls (1:5) matched by parity and date of birth of the mother. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios of the risk of ductal and lobular breast cancer subtypes associated with each of the intervals between the 1st and 5th birth, stratified by age at diagnosis. Age at first and last birth before index date were used as covariates. Results Increased intervals between the 1st and 5th births were associated with an increased risk of lobular breast cancer. In contrast, regarding ductal cancer, premenopausal women with shorter length of interval (< 2 years) between the 1st and 2nd birth had greater risk and longer intervals (3+ years) were associated with reduced risk. Spacing between the 2nd and 5th birth did not influence the risk of ductal breast cancer. Conclusion The findings of our study suggest that the effect of the length of birth interval on breast cancer depends on the age and histology. The protective effect of shorter birth intervals on lobular breast among postmenopausal women and the opposite effect on ductal cancer in premenopausal women may reflect distinct differentiation and functional roles of lobular and ductal cells, and possibly also different response to hormonal exposure.
Subject: Breast cancer
Risk factor
Birth spacing
Age at diagnosis
Age at first birth
Age at last birth, birth interval

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