Family history and risk of breast cancer in hispanic and non-hispanic women: the New Mexico Women's Health Study

Cancer Causes Control. 2001 Oct;12(8):747-53. doi: 10.1023/a:1011285205870.


Objectives: Many epidemiologic studies have demonstrated that an increased risk of breast cancer is associated with positive family history of this disease. Little information had been available on the relationship of breast cancer risk with family history in Hispanic women. To investigate the association of family history of breast cancer on the risk of breast cancer, we examined the data from the New Mexico Women's Health Study (NMWHS), a statewide case-control study.

Methods: In this study 712 women (332 Hispanics and 380 non-Hispanic whites) with breast cancer and 844 controls (388 Hispanics and 456 non-Hispanic whites) were included. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI). adjusted for sociodemographic, medical, and reproductive factors.

Results: We found an increased risk in women with a history of breast cancer in one or more first-degree or second-degree relatives (OR= 1.5, 95% CI 1.2-1.9), first-degree relatives (OR= 1.3, 95% CI 1.0-1.8) and second-degree relatives (OR = 1.6, 95% CI 1.2-2.2). Hispanic women had higher risk estimates for a positive family history (OR= 1.7, 95% CI 1.1-2.5) than non-Hispanic white women (OR= 1.4, 95% CI 1.0-2.0); however, the differences were not statistically significant. In both ethnic groups a higher risk was observed in premenopausal women compared with postmenopausal women and women diagnosed with breast cancer before age 50 years compared with older women.

Conclusions: The results indicate that Hispanic women with a family history of breast cancer are at increased risk of breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • European Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Family*
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • New Mexico / epidemiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors