Abortion and breast cancer: case-control study

Tumori. 2013 Jul-Aug;99(4):452-7. doi: 10.1177/030089161309900402.


Aims and background: The aim of the present study was to examine if certain aspects of a woman's experience of abortion might be associated with the risk of breast cancer.

Methods and study design: The case-control study was conducted in Kragujevac (Serbia) during the period 2004-2005. The case group (191 women) consisted of patients with newly diagnosed first primary breast cancer, which was histologically confirmed. The control group (191 women), individually matched by age (± 2 years), hospital admittance and place of residence (rural/urban) to the respective cases, was selected from female patients admitted for other diseases. The analysis was restricted to parous women (168 cases and 171 controls).

Results: Breast cancer risk was reduced among women who had a history of any abortion (adjusted OR, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.24-0.88). The protective effect was found for both induced abortion (adjusted OR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.25-0.90) and spontaneous abortion (adjusted OR, 0.31; 95% CI, 0.10-0.98). It seems that these associations did not depend on the number of abortions, age at first abortion, or gestational age at first aborted pregnancy.

Conclusions: Our study suggests that even short pregnancies ending in abortion add to the protection against breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced / statistics & numerical data*
  • Abortion, Spontaneous / epidemiology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pregnancy*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Serbia / epidemiology