Cancer Causes & Control

, 22:1415 | Cite as

Reproductive and menstrual factors and risk of ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast in a cohort of postmenopausal women

  • Geoffrey C. Kabat
  • Mimi Y. Kim
  • Nancy F. Woods
  • Laurel A. Habel
  • Catherine R. Messina
  • Jean Wactawski-Wende
  • Marcia L. Stefanick
  • Rowan T. Chlebowski
  • Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller
  • Thomas E. Rohan
Original paper



The contribution of menstrual and reproductive factors to risk of ductal carcinoma (DCIS) of the breast is poorly understood.


The association between menstrual and reproductive factors and subsequent DCIS risk was examined in Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) clinical trial participants, in which mammography was protocol mandated. The cohort consisted of 64,060 women, among whom 664 cases of DCIS were ascertained over a median follow-up of 12.0 years. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI).


After adjustment for covariates, only older age at menopause (HR ≥ 55 vs. 45–54 : 1.39, 95% CI 1.08–1.79) was significantly associated with risk; however, greater parity (HR ≥ 5 live births vs. 0: 0.70, 95% CI 0.47–1.03), among parous women, and age at first live birth (HR ≥ 30 years relative to <20 years: 1.32, 95% CI 0.92–1.90) were of borderline significance. Age at menarche and months of breast-feeding were not associated with risk. Associations did not differ between high- and low-/moderate-grade DCIS, or by level of body mass index or family history of breast cancer; however, there was a suggestion that the associations of age at menopause, parity, and age at first live birth were limited to women who had ever used hormone therapy.


Findings from this large cohort of postmenopausal women suggest that age at menopause, and possibly, age at first live birth, and parity are associated with risk of DCIS, whereas age at menarche and duration of breast-feeding are not.


Breast cancer Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) Reproductive factors Menstrual factors Grade Natural history Hormone therapy Mammographic screening 



Short list Of WHI investigators. Program Office: (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, Maryland) Jacques Rossouw, Shari Ludlam, Joan McGowan, Leslie Ford, and Nancy Geller.

Clinical Coordinating Center: (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA) Ross Prentice, Garnet Anderson, Andrea LaCroix, Charles Kooperberg; (Medical Research Labs, Highland Heights, KY) Evan Stein; (University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA) Steven Cummings.

Clinical Centers: (Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY) Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller; (Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX) Haleh Sangi-Haghpeykar; (Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA) JoAnn E. Manson; (Brown University, Providence, RI) Charles B. Eaton; (Emory University, Atlanta, GA) Lawrence S. Phillips; (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA) Shirley Beresford; (George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC) Lisa Martin; (Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor- UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA) Rowan Chlebowski; (Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Portland, OR) Erin LeBlanc; (Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, Oakland, CA) Bette Caan; (Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI) Jane Morley Kotchen; (MedStar Research Institute/Howard University, Washington, DC) Barbara V. Howard; (Northwestern University, Chicago/Evanston, IL) Linda Van Horn; (Rush Medical Center, Chicago, IL) Henry Black; (Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford, CA) Marcia L. Stefanick; (State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY) Dorothy Lane; (The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH) Rebecca Jackson; (University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL) Cora E. Lewis; (University of Arizona, Tucson/Phoenix, AZ) Cynthia A. Thomson; (University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY) Jean Wactawski-Wende; (University of California at Davis, Sacramento, CA) John Robbins; (University of California at Irvine, CA) F. Allan Hubbell; (University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA) Lauren Nathan; (University of California at San Diego, LaJolla/Chula Vista, CA) Robert D. Langer; (University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH) Margery Gass; (University of Florida, Gainesville/Jacksonville, FL) Marian Limacher; (University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI) J. David Curb; (University of Iowa, Iowa City/Davenport, IA) Robert Wallace; (University of Massachusetts/Fallon Clinic, Worcester, MA) Judith Ockene; (University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, NJ) Norman Lasser; (University of Miami, Miami, FL) Mary Jo O’Sullivan; (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN) Karen Margolis; (University of Nevada, Reno, NV) Robert Brunner; (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC) Gerardo Heiss; (University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA) Lewis Kuller; (University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN) Karen C. Johnson; (University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX) Robert Brzyski; (University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI) Gloria E. Sarto; (Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC) Mara Vitolins; (Wayne State University School of Medicine/Hutzel Hospital, Detroit, MI) Michael S. Simon.

Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study: (Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC) Sally Shumaker.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey C. Kabat
    • 1
  • Mimi Y. Kim
    • 1
  • Nancy F. Woods
    • 2
  • Laurel A. Habel
    • 3
  • Catherine R. Messina
    • 4
  • Jean Wactawski-Wende
    • 5
  • Marcia L. Stefanick
    • 6
  • Rowan T. Chlebowski
    • 7
  • Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller
    • 1
  • Thomas E. Rohan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and Population HealthAlbert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA
  2. 2.Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems, School of NursingUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Division of ResearchKaiser PermanenteOaklandUSA
  4. 4.Department of Preventive Medicine, School of MedicineState University of New York at Stony BrookStony BrookUSA
  5. 5.Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health and Health ProfessionsUniversity at BuffaloBuffaloUSA
  6. 6.Department of MedicineStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA
  7. 7.Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical CenterTorranceUSA

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