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Breast Cancer Health Center

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Breast Cancer Risk Differs Among Ethnic Groups

Study Shows Differences in Risk Factors for White Women and Hispanic Women

Estimating Breast Cancer Risk continued...

Among other conclusions:

  • White women had a higher incidence of breast cancer compared with Hispanic women for every age group analyzed. That difference seemed to increase with age.
  • Among premenopausal women in the group, a higher proportion of Hispanic women than white women reported characteristics associated with a lower risk of breast cancer, specifically, younger age at first birth, having more children, shorter height, higher body mass index, no oral contraceptive use, and less alcohol consumption.
  • Characteristics associated with increased risk that were more likely to be reported among Hispanic women included younger age at first menstruation, not breastfeeding, and low physical activity.
  • Older age at first birth was the only risk factor that was associated significantly with increased risk among both white and Hispanic women.

The researchers conclude that their findings "provide support for notable ethnic differences in both the prevalence of risk factors and their associations with breast cancer in comparisons between [non-Hispanic white] women and Hispanic women."

The researchers write that their findings "demonstrate that there are ethnic differences in both the prevalence of established breast cancer risk factors and their associations with breast cancer."

The differences may help explain the disparity in breast cancer incidence rates, and the study suggests more research is needed to pinpoint breast cancer risk factors among ethnic and racial populations.

The study is published in Cancer.

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