European ancestry is positively associated with breast cancer risk in Mexican women

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010 Apr;19(4):1074-82. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-09-1193. Epub 2010 Mar 23.


The incidence of breast cancer is 35% lower in Hispanic women living in the San Francisco Bay Area than in non-Hispanic White women. We have previously described a significant association between genetic ancestry and risk for breast cancer in a sample of U.S. Hispanics/Latinas. We retested the association in women residing in Mexico because of the possibility that the original finding may be confounded by U.S. specific unmeasured environmental exposures. We genotyped a set of 106 ancestry informative markers in 846 Mexican women with breast cancer and 1,035 unaffected controls and estimated genetic ancestry using a maximum likelihood method. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for ancestry modeled as a categorical and continuous variable were estimated using logistic regression and adjusted for reproductive and other known risk factors. Greater European ancestry was associated with increased breast cancer risk in this new and independent sample of Mexican women residing in Mexico. Compared with women with 0% to 25% European ancestry, the risk was increased for women with 51% to 75% and 76% to 100% European ancestry [odds ratios, 1.35 (95% CI, 0.96-1.91) and 2.44 (95% CI, 0.94-6.35), respectively; P for trend = 0.044]. For every 25% increase in European ancestry (modeled as a continuous variable), there was a 20% increase in risk for breast cancer (95% CI, 1.03-1.41; P = 0.019). These results suggest that nongenetic factors play a crucial role in explaining the difference in breast cancer incidence between Latinas and non-Latina White women, and it also points out to the possibility of a genetic component to this difference.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • Hispanic or Latino / ethnology
  • Hispanic or Latino / genetics
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Mexico / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • White People / ethnology
  • White People / genetics