Lifetime menstrual activity--indicator of breast cancer risk

Eur J Epidemiol. 1993 Jan;9(1):17-25. doi: 10.1007/BF00463085.


A case-control study of 67 cases of breast cancer and 157 controls was conducted to investigate the role of different behavioral, reproductive, and hormonal factors and to develop a unifying indicator of breast cancer risk. The results confirm previous reports of the influence of smoking on the risk of breast cancer. Age at menarche was found to be a risk factor among the premenopausal women. Late age at menopause was suggestive of an increase in risk. Long use of oral contraceptive or estrogen supplementation were risk-enhancing both pre- and postmenopausally. Lifetime duration of menstrual activity (LMA) combines age at menarche and menopause, parity, and lactation into a biologically plausible model. Our findings concerning LMA support its role as a determinant of breast cancer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Contraceptives, Oral / adverse effects
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Menopause
  • Menstruation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors


  • Contraceptives, Oral