A Pooled Analysis of Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer Risk by Hormone Receptor Status in Parous Hispanic Women

Epidemiology. 2019 May;30(3):449-457. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000000981.


Background: Data on breastfeeding and breast cancer risk are sparse and inconsistent for Hispanic women.

Methods: Pooling data for nearly 6,000 parous Hispanic women from four population-based studies conducted between 1995 and 2007 in the United States and Mexico, we examined the association of breastfeeding with risk of breast cancer overall and subtypes defined by estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) status, and the joint effects of breastfeeding, parity, and age at first birth. We calculated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using logistic regression.

Results: Among parous Hispanic women, older age at first birth was associated with increased breast cancer risk, whereas parity was associated with reduced risk. These associations were found for hormone receptor positive (HR+) breast cancer only and limited to premenopausal women. Age at first birth and parity were not associated with risk of ER- and PR- breast cancer. Increasing duration of breastfeeding was associated with decreasing breast cancer risk (≥25 vs. 0 months: OR = 0.73; 95% CI = 0.60, 0.89; Ptrend = 0.03), with no heterogeneity by menopausal status or subtype. At each parity level, breastfeeding further reduced HR+ breast cancer risk. Additionally, breastfeeding attenuated the increase in risk of HR+ breast cancer associated with older age at first birth.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that breastfeeding is associated with reduced risk of both HR+ and ER- and PR- breast cancer among Hispanic women, as reported for other populations, and may attenuate the increased risk in women with a first pregnancy at older ages.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Feeding / ethnology*
  • Breast Feeding / statistics & numerical data
  • Breast Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Mexico / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Parity*
  • Pregnancy
  • Receptors, Estrogen / analysis*
  • Receptors, Progesterone / analysis*
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptors, Progesterone