Contextual Impact of Neighborhood Obesogenic Factors on Postmenopausal Breast Cancer: The Multiethnic Cohort

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2017 Apr;26(4):480-489. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-16-0941. Epub 2017 Jan 31.


Background: While obesity is well-understood to increase breast cancer risk, the role of the neighborhood obesogenic environment, encompassing social and built environment attributes that influence body size, is poorly understood.Methods: Using principal components factor analysis, five composite factors [neighborhood socioeconomic status (nSES), urban, mixed-land development, unhealthy food environment, parks] on the basis of geospatial data were developed to characterize the obesogenic environment for 48,247 postmenopausal women in the Multiethnic Cohort, residing predominately in Los Angeles County. We used Cox proportional hazards regression to examine the association between neighborhood obesogenic factors and breast cancer risk (n = 2,341 cases after 17 years of follow-up), adjusting for body mass index (BMI), weight gain since age 21, education, established risk factors, other neighborhood factors, and clustering by block group.Results: Lower nSES was associated with lower breast cancer risk [quintile 1 vs. 5: HR, 0.79; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.66-0.95], with a more pronounced association observed in Latinos (quintile 1 vs. 5: HR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.43-0.85). More urban environments were associated with lower breast cancer risk in Japanese Americans (quintile 5 vs. 1: HR, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.26-0.90), and lower mixed-land development was associated with higher breast cancer risk in Latinos (quintile 1 vs. 5: HR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.10-1.93).Conclusions: Obesogenic neighborhood environment factors, especially nSES, urbanicity, and mixed-land development, were differentially and independently associated with breast cancer risk in this multiethnic population.Impact: These findings highlight the need for additional studies of the driving contextual aspects of nSES that influence breast cancer risk. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 26(4); 480-9. ©2017 AACRSee all the articles in this CEBP Focus section, "Geospatial Approaches to Cancer Control and Population Sciences."

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Aged
  • Asian Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Breast Neoplasms / etiology*
  • California / epidemiology
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / ethnology
  • Obesity / etiology*
  • Postmenopause
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Report
  • Weight Gain*