Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 20, Issue 7, pp 1039–1053 | Cite as

Associations between endogenous sex hormone levels and mammographic and bone densities in premenopausal women

  • Mellissa Yong
  • Charlotte Atkinson
  • Katherine M. Newton
  • Erin J. Aiello Bowles
  • Frank Z. Stanczyk
  • Kim C. Westerlind
  • Victoria L. Holt
  • Stephen M. Schwartz
  • Wendy M. Leisenring
  • Johanna W. Lampe
Original Paper



Mammographic breast and bone mineral densities (BMD) have been associated with luteal phase hormone concentrations in premenopausal women. We assessed the associations of breast and bone densities with follicular phase hormones and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) in premenopausal women, given that follicular phase hormones have been shown to be positively associated with premenopausal breast cancer risk.


One hundred and ninety-two 40–45-year-old women provided a spot urine and/or blood sample during the follicular phase. Hormone and SHBG concentrations, and bone density were measured and routine mammograms were accessed and digitized to obtain breast density measures. Regression models were fit to assess the associations between hormones and SHBG, and breast and bone densities.


Positive associations were observed between percent breast density and SHBG (p trend = 0.02), as well as estradiol (p trend = 0.08), after controlling for body mass index (BMI), number of pregnancies, and breast feeding history. In addition, a statistically significant inverse association was observed between total testosterone and head BMD (p trend = 0.01), after controlling for BMI.


Associations were observed between breast and bone densities, and serum hormone concentrations during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle.


Estrogens Androgens Mammographic density Bone mineral density Premenopausal women 



We wish to thank Kelly Ehrlich, Kathy Plant, and the GH Center for Health Studies for screening interviews, clinic visits, and study coordination and all the study participants. This work was supported by the National Institute of Health (R01CA97366) and the FHCRC Center Interdisciplinary Funds.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mellissa Yong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Charlotte Atkinson
    • 3
  • Katherine M. Newton
    • 4
  • Erin J. Aiello Bowles
    • 4
  • Frank Z. Stanczyk
    • 5
  • Kim C. Westerlind
    • 6
  • Victoria L. Holt
    • 2
    • 7
  • Stephen M. Schwartz
    • 2
    • 8
  • Wendy M. Leisenring
    • 9
  • Johanna W. Lampe
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Cancer Prevention ProgramFred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Oral and Dental ScienceUniversity of BristolBristolUK
  4. 4.Group Health Center for Health StudiesSeattleUSA
  5. 5.Keck School of Medicine of USCLos AngelesUSA
  6. 6.AMC Cancer Research CenterDenverUSA
  7. 7.Epidemiology Research UnitFred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterSeattleUSA
  8. 8.Cancer Epidemiology Research CooperativeFred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterSeattleUSA
  9. 9.Clinical Statistics/Clinical ResearchFred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterSeattleUSA

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