Publications by authors named "Traci N Bethea"

53 Publications

A population-based psychometric analysis of the insomnia severity index in black women with and without a history of cancer.

J Sleep Res 2021 Jun 14:e13421. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University, Boston, MA, USA.

Black women are under-represented in insomnia research. Further, cancer treatments increase the risk of late effects, thus affecting the sleep of psychologically and medically vulnerable cancer survivors. The Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) is widely used, but has not been researched in black women, and research in cancer survivors is limited. Prior studies demonstrate that psychometric properties of the ISI are not consistent across samples. This study examined the internal consistency and factor structure of the ISI in 29,500 participants from the Black Women's Health Study, an epidemiological study of black women in the United States. This cohort included 28,214 women without a cancer history and 1,286 cancer survivors. Exploratory, confirmatory and multigroup analyses were conducted to determine the psychometric properties of the ISI in these groups. The mean ISI score was 7.18 (standard deviation [SD] = 6.82). Findings supported the internal consistency reliability of the ISI in black women with (Ω = 0.896) and without (Ω = 0.892) a cancer history. Exploratory factor analyses supported a one-factor structure. Confirmatory factor analyses indicated that fit of this one-factor model was not robust in survivors (Satorra-Bentler chi-square [χSB (14)] = 197.78, comparative fit index [CFI] = 0.928, root mean-square error of approximation [RMSEA] = 0.143) or in women with no cancer history (χSB (14) = 2,887.93, CFI = 0.945, RMSEA = 0.121), but the alternative models we examined were not superior. Although factor structures in previous studies have varied considerably, we found a one-factor structure. Although internal consistency reliability was strong, factor analytic results did not further support the ISI. Inconsistencies in ISI measurement properties across studies may reflect differences in sample sizes and populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jsr.13421DOI Listing
June 2021

Abuse in Childhood and Risk for Sleep Disruption in Adulthood in the Black Women's Health Study.

Sleep Med 2021 Jul 10;83:260-270. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.

Objective: To investigate the association of early life abuse with sleep disruption risk in adulthood among U.S. Black women.

Methods: We analyzed data from the Black Women's Health Study, a prospective cohort study. In 2005, 29,998 women completed a self-administered questionnaire on early-life experiences of abuse (child and teen) and exposure to danger at any life stage. Participants reported on their sleep quality (snoring and diagnosed sleep apnea) in 2001, whether their "sleep was restless" in 2005, and their average sleep duration in 2009. We used log-binomial regression models to derive risk ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association of child/teen abuse and danger at any life stage with snoring, diagnosis of sleep apnea, restless sleep, and short sleep duration.

Results: Nearly 50% of participants reported one or more measure of sleep disruption in adulthood. Higher severity of physical abuse was associated with increased risk of sleep disruption and higher severity of sexual abuse was associated with increased risk for most sleep disruptions. The RR comparing child/teen physical and sexual abuse relative to no abuse was highest for diagnosed sleep apnea (2.03, 95% CI: 1.70, 2.41). Feeling in danger at any life stage (child, teen, adult, past year) was generally associated with greater increases in risk of sleep disruption among women with a history of early life abuse than among women without such a history.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that abuse as a child and/or teen is related to disrupted sleep in adulthood.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2021.02.053DOI Listing
July 2021

Dairy foods, calcium, and risk of breast cancer overall and for subtypes defined by estrogen receptor status: a pooled analysis of 21 cohort studies.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 May 8. Epub 2021 May 8.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Background: Epidemiologic studies examining the relations between dairy product and calcium intakes and breast cancer have been inconclusive, especially for tumor subtypes.

Objective: To evaluate the associations between intakes of specific dairy products and calcium and risk of breast cancer overall and for subtypes defined by estrogen receptor (ER) status.

Method: We pooled the individual-level data of over 1 million women who were followed for a maximum of 8-20 years across studies. Associations were evaluated for dairy product and calcium intakes and risk of incident invasive breast cancer overall (n = 37,861 cases) and by subtypes defined by ER status. Study-specific multivariable hazard ratios (HRs) were estimated and then combined using random-effects models.

Results: Overall, no clear association was observed between the consumption of specific dairy foods, dietary (from foods only) calcium, and total (from foods and supplements) calcium, and risk of overall breast cancer. Although each dairy product showed a null or very weak inverse association with risk of overall breast cancer (P, test for trend >0.05 for all), differences by ER status were suggested for yogurt and cottage/ricotta cheese with associations observed for ER-negative tumors only (pooled HR = 0.90, 95% CI: 0.83, 0.98 comparing ≥60 g/d with <1 g/d of yogurt and 0.85, 95% CI: 0.76, 0.95 comparing ≥25 g/d with <1 g/d of cottage/ricotta cheese). Dietary calcium intake was only weakly associated with breast cancer risk (pooled HR = 0.98, 95% CI: 0.97, 0.99 per 350 mg/d).

Conclusion: Our study shows that adult dairy or calcium consumption is unlikely to associate with a higher risk of breast cancer and that higher yogurt and cottage/ricotta cheese intakes were inversely associated with the risk of ER-negative breast cancer, a less hormonally dependent subtype with poor prognosis. Future studies on fermented dairy products, earlier life exposures, ER-negative breast cancer, and different racial/ethnic populations may further elucidate the relation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab097DOI Listing
May 2021

Brominated flame retardants and organochlorine pesticides and incidence of uterine leiomyomata: A prospective ultrasound study.

Environ Epidemiol 2021 Feb 27;5(1):e127. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.

Uterine leiomyomata (UL) are hormone-responsive benign neoplasms. Brominated flame retardants and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) can disrupt hormones involved in UL etiology.

Methods: The Study of Environmental, Lifestyle, and Fibroids is a Detroit-area prospective cohort of 1693 Black women 23-35 years of age. At baseline and approximately every 20 months for 5 years, women completed questionnaires and underwent transvaginal ultrasounds. Using a case-cohort study design, we selected 729 UL-free participants at baseline and analyzed baseline plasma samples for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), a polybrominated biphenyl ether (PBB-153), and OCPs. We used Cox proportional hazard models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results: Compared with total PBDE plasma concentrations <50th percentile, adjusted HRs for the 50th-74th, 75th-89th, and ≥90th percentiles were 1.00 (95% CI = 0.68, 1.47), 1.04 (95% CI = 0.63, 1.68), and 0.85 (95% CI = 0.48, 1.50), respectively. HRs for PBB-153 plasma concentrations were generally similar to total PBDE plasma concentrations. Compared with total OCP plasma concentrations <50th percentile, HRs for the 50th-74th, 75th-89th, and ≥90th percentiles were 0.86 (95% CI = 0.57, 1.29), 0.73 (95% CI = 0.43, 1.22), and 0.58 (95% CI = 0.32, 1.04), respectively. HRs for individual PBDEs and OCPs were similar to their respective totals.

Conclusion: We found little support for an association between brominated flame retardant plasma concentrations and UL incidence, and some evidence of lower UL incidence with the highest OCP plasma concentrations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/EE9.0000000000000127DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7939431PMC
February 2021

First- and second-degree family history of ovarian and breast cancer in relation to risk of invasive ovarian cancer in African American and white women.

Int J Cancer 2021 Jun 17;148(12):2964-2973. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Family history (FH) of ovarian cancer and breast cancer are well-established risk factors for ovarian cancer, but few studies have examined this association in African American (AA) and white women by histotype. We assessed first- and second-degree FH of ovarian and breast cancer and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer in the Ovarian Cancer in Women of African Ancestry Consortium. Analyses included 1052 AA cases, 2328 AA controls, 2380 white cases and 3982 white controls. Race-specific odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using multilevel logistic regression with adjustment for covariates. Analyses were stratified by histotype (high-grade serous vs others). First-degree FH of ovarian cancer was associated with high-grade serous carcinoma in AA (OR = 2.32, 95% CI: 1.50, 3.59) and white women (OR = 2.48, 95% CI: 1.82, 3.38). First-degree FH of breast cancer increased risk irrespective of histotype in AAs, but with high-grade serous carcinoma only in white women. Associations with second-degree FH of ovarian cancer were observed for overall ovarian cancer in white women and with high-grade serous carcinoma in both groups. First-degree FH of ovarian cancer and of breast cancer, and second-degree FH of ovarian cancer is strongly associated with high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma in AA and white women. The association of FH of breast cancer with high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma is similar in white women and AA women, but may differ for other histotypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33493DOI Listing
June 2021

A Prospective Ultrasound Study of Plasma Polychlorinated Biphenyl Concentrations and Incidence of Uterine Leiomyomata.

Epidemiology 2021 03;32(2):259-267

From the Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA.

Background: Uterine leiomyomata, or fibroids, are hormone-dependent neoplasms of the myometrium that can cause severe gynecologic morbidity. In previous studies, incidence of these lesions has been positively associated with exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a class of persistent endocrine-disrupting chemicals. However, previous studies have been retrospective in design and none has used ultrasound to reduce disease misclassification.

Methods: The Study of Environment, Lifestyle, and Fibroids is a prospective cohort of 1,693 reproductive-aged Black women residing in Detroit, Michigan (enrolled during 2010-2012). At baseline and every 20 months for 5 years, women completed questionnaires, provided blood samples, and underwent transvaginal ultrasound to detect incident fibroids. We analyzed 754 baseline plasma samples for concentrations of 24 PCB congeners using a case-cohort study design. We used multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals for the association between plasma PCB concentrations and ultrasound-detected fibroid incidence over a 5-year period.

Results: We observed little association between PCB congener concentrations and fibroid incidence. The HR for a one-standard deviation increase in log-transformed total PCBs was 0.94 (95% CI = 0.78, 1.1). The PCB congener with the largest effect estimate was PCB 187 (HR for a one-standard deviation increase in log-transformed exposure = 0.88, 95% CI = 0.73, 1.1). Associations did not seem to vary strongly across PCB groupings based on hormonal activity.

Conclusions: In this cohort of reproductive-aged Black women, plasma PCB concentrations typical of the contemporary general population were not appreciably associated with higher risk of fibroids.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/EDE.0000000000001320DOI Listing
March 2021

Air pollution and breast cancer risk in the Black Women's Health Study.

Environ Res 2021 03 30;194:110651. Epub 2020 Dec 30.

Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA.

Background: Air pollution contains numerous carcinogens and endocrine disruptors which may be relevant for breast cancer. Previous research has predominantly been conducted in White women; however, Black women may have higher air pollution exposure due to geographic and residential factors.

Objective: We evaluated the association between air pollution and breast cancer risk in a large prospective population of Black women.

Methods: We estimated annual average ambient levels of particulate matter <2.5 μm (PM), nitrogen dioxide (NO) and ozone (O) at the 1995 residence of 41,317 participants in the Black Women's Health Study who resided in 56 metropolitan areas across the United States. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for an interquartile range (IQR) increase in each pollutant. We evaluated whether the association varied by menopausal status, estrogen receptor (ER) status of the tumor and geographic region of residence.

Results: With follow-up through 2015 (mean = 18.3 years), 2146 incident cases of breast cancer were confirmed. Higher exposure to NO or O was not associated with a higher risk of breast cancer. For PM, although we observed no association overall, there was evidence of modification by geographic region for both ER- (p for heterogeneity = 0.01) and premenopausal breast cancer (p for heterogeneity = 0.01). Among women living in the Midwest, an IQR increase in PM (2.87 μg/m), was associated with a higher risk of ER- (HR = 1.53, 95% CI: 1.07-2.19) and premenopausal breast cancer (HR = 1.32, 95% CI: 1.03-1.71). In contrast, among women living in the South, PM was inversely associated with both ER- (HR = 0.74, 95% CI: 0.56-0.97) and premenopausal breast cancer risk (HR = 0.75, 95% CI: 0.62-0.91).

Discussion: Overall, we observed no association between air pollution and increased breast cancer risk among Black women, except perhaps among women living in the Midwestern US.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2020.110651DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7946730PMC
March 2021

Intake of Lycopene and other Carotenoids and Incidence of Uterine Leiomyomata: A Prospective Ultrasound Study.

J Acad Nutr Diet 2021 01 21;121(1):92-104. Epub 2020 Oct 21.

Background: Uterine leiomyomata (UL) are the leading indication for hysterectomy in the United States. Dietary supplementation with lycopene was associated with reduced size and incidence of oviduct leiomyoma in the Japanese quail. Two US prospective cohort studies of women reported little association between intake of lycopene, or other carotenoids, and UL incidence. However, these studies relied on self-reported physician-diagnosed UL, which is prone to misclassification.

Objective: This study examines the association between dietary intake of carotenoids and UL incidence.

Design: Data were derived from the Study of the Environment, Lifestyle, and Fibroids, a prospective cohort study. Women completed self-administered baseline questionnaires on demographic characteristics, reproductive history, and lifestyle, including a 110-item validated food frequency questionnaire, from which dietary intakes of carotenoids-including alpha carotene, beta carotene, cryptoxanthin, lutein-zeaxanthin, and lycopene-and vitamin A were estimated.

Participants/setting: One thousand two hundred thirty Black women aged 23 to 35 years who did not have a previous diagnosis of UL, cancer, or autoimmune disease were eligible for enrollment (2010-2012). Participants were residents of the Detroit, MI, metropolitan area.

Main Outcome Measures: Transvaginal ultrasound was used to assess UL at baseline and 20, 40, and 60 months of follow-up.

Statistical Analyses Performed: Cox regression was used to estimate hazard ratios and 95% CIs, adjusted for energy intake, age at menarche, education, body mass index, parity, age at first birth, years since last birth, current use of oral contraceptives or progestin-only injectables, alcohol intake, and cigarette smoking.

Results: Among 1,230 women without prevalent UL at baseline, 301 incident UL cases during follow-up were identified. Intakes of lycopene, other carotenoids, and vitamin A were not appreciably associated with UL incidence. Hazard ratios comparing quartiles 2 (2,376 to 3,397 μg/day), 3 (3,398 to 4,817 μg/day), and 4 (≥4,818 μg/day) with quartile 1 (<2,376 μg/day) of lycopene intake were 1.03 (95% CI 0.72 to 1.47), 1.22 (95% CI 0.86 to 1.72), and 0.95 (95% CI 0.67 to 1.36), respectively.

Conclusions: Study findings do not support the hypothesis that greater carotenoid intake is associated with reduced UL incidence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2020.08.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7768815PMC
January 2021

Racial Differences in Population Attributable Risk for Epithelial Ovarian Cancer in the OCWAA Consortium.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 Jun;113(6):710-718

Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Background: The causes of racial disparities in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) incidence remain unclear. Differences in the prevalence of ovarian cancer risk factors may explain disparities in EOC incidence among African American (AA) and White women.

Methods: We used data from 4 case-control studies and 3 case-control studies nested within prospective cohorts in the Ovarian Cancer in Women of African Ancestry Consortium to estimate race-specific associations of 10 known or suspected EOC risk factors using logistic regression. Using the Bruzzi method, race-specific population attributable risks (PAR) were estimated for each risk factor individually and collectively, including groupings of exposures (reproductive factors and modifiable factors). All statistical tests were 2-sided.

Results: Among 3244 White EOC cases and 9638 controls and 1052 AA EOC cases and 2410 controls, AA women had a statistically significantly higher PAR (false discovery rate [FDR] P < .001) for first-degree family history of breast cancer (PAR = 10.1%, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 6.5% to 13.7%) compared with White women (PAR = 2.6%, 95% CI = 0.8% to 4.4%). After multiple test correction, AA women had a higher PAR than White women when evaluating all risk factors collectively (PAR = 61.6%, 95% CI = 48.6% to 71.3% vs PAR = 43.0%, 95% CI = 32.8% to 51.4%, respectively; FDR P = .06) and for modifiable exposures, including body mass index, oral contraceptives, aspirin, and body powder (PAR = 36.0%, 95% CI = 21.0% to 48.8% vs PAR = 13.8%, 95% CI = 4.5% to 21.8%, respectively; FDR P = .04).

Conclusions: Collectively, the selected risk factors accounted for slightly more of the risk among AA than White women, and interventions to reduce EOC incidence that are focused on multiple modifiable risk factors may be slightly more beneficial to AA women than White women at risk for EOC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djaa188DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8168275PMC
June 2021

Epidemiology of Basal-like and Luminal Breast Cancers among Black Women in the AMBER Consortium.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Jan 23;30(1):71-79. Epub 2020 Oct 23.

Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Background: Evidence suggests etiologic heterogeneity among breast cancer subtypes. Previous studies with six-marker IHC classification of intrinsic subtypes included small numbers of black women.

Methods: Using centralized laboratory results for estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor, HER2, proliferation marker, Ki-67, EGFR, and cytokeratin (CK)5/6, we estimated case-only and case-control ORs for established breast cancer risk factors among cases ( = 2,354) and controls ( = 2,932) in the African American Breast Cancer Epidemiology and Risk (AMBER) consortium. ORs were estimated by ER status and intrinsic subtype using adjusted logistic regression.

Results: Case-only analyses by ER status showed etiologic heterogeneity by age at menarche, parity (vs. nulliparity), and age at first birth. In case-control analyses for intrinsic subtype, increased body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) were associated with increased risk of luminal A subtype, whereas older age at menarche and parity, regardless of breastfeeding, were associated with reduced risk. For basal-like cancers, parity without breastfeeding and increasing WHR were associated with increased risk, whereas breastfeeding and age ≥25 years at first birth were associated with reduced risk among parous women. Basal-like and ER/HER2 subtypes had earlier age-at-incidence distribution relative to luminal subtypes.

Conclusions: Breast cancer subtypes showed distinct etiologic profiles in the AMBER consortium, a study of more than 5,000 black women with centrally assessed tumor biospecimens.

Impact: Among black women, high WHR and parity without breastfeeding are emerging as important intervention points to reduce the incidence of basal-like breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-0556DOI Listing
January 2021

Correlates of urinary concentrations of phthalate and phthalate alternative metabolites among reproductive-aged Black women from Detroit, Michigan.

J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 2021 May 26;31(3):461-475. Epub 2020 Sep 26.

Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Phthalates are endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are widely present in consumer products. In the United States, Black women are more highly exposed to phthalates than other racial/ethnic groups, yet information on predictors of phthalate exposure among Black women is limited.

Objective: We evaluated the association of demographics, lifestyle, reproductive history, and personal care product use with urinary concentrations of phthalate and phthalate alternative metabolites, using cross-sectional data from a study of 754 Black women from Detroit, Michigan (2010-2012).

Methods: Women completed questionnaires and provided urine specimens which were analyzed for 16 phthalate and phthalate alternative metabolites. We used linear regression models to estimate mean percentage differences and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) in concentrations across levels of correlates.

Results: Monoethyl phthalate (MEP) and MBP concentrations were positively associated with personal care product use, particularly nail products. Educational attainment was positively associated with high molecular weight phthalate concentrations but inversely associated with monobenzyl phthalate (MBzP) concentrations. Parity was positively associated with MBzP concentrations and inversely associated with concentrations of MEP and high molecular weight phthalates.

Significance: We found that sociodemographics, reproductive characteristics, and use of certain personal care products were associated with urinary phthalate concentrations among Black women. Our results emphasize the importance of examining exposure determinants among multiply marginalized populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41370-020-00270-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7994206PMC
May 2021

Aspirin use and risk of breast cancer in African American women.

Breast Cancer Res 2020 09 4;22(1):96. Epub 2020 Sep 4.

Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University, 72 East Concord Street, L-7, Boston, MA, 02118, USA.

Background: Use of aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) has been hypothesized to be associated with reduced risk of breast cancer; however, results of epidemiological studies have been mixed. Few studies have investigated these associations among African American women.

Methods: To assess the relation of aspirin use to risk of breast cancer in African American women, we conducted a prospective analysis within the Black Women's Health Study, an ongoing nationwide cohort study of 59,000 African American women. On baseline and follow-up questionnaires, women reported regular use of aspirin (defined as use at least 3 days per week) and years of use. During follow-up from 1995 through 2017, 1919 invasive breast cancers occurred, including 1112 ER+, 569 ER-, and 284 triple-negative (TN) tumors. We used age-stratified Cox proportional hazards regression models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for associations of aspirin use with risk of ER+, ER-, and TN breast cancer, adjusted for established breast cancer risk factors.

Results: Overall, the HR for current regular use of aspirin relative to non-use was 0.92 (95% CI 0.81, 1.04). For ER+, ER-, and TN breast cancer, corresponding HRs were 0.98 (0.84, 1.15), 0.81 (0.64, 1.04), and 0.70 (0.49, 0.99), respectively.

Conclusions: Our findings with regard to ER- and TN breast cancer are consistent with hypothesized inflammatory mechanisms of ER- and TN breast cancer, rather than hormone-dependent pathways. Aspirin may represent a potential opportunity for chemoprevention of ER- and TN breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13058-020-01335-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7650295PMC
September 2020

A Prospective Analysis of Intake of Red and Processed Meat in Relation to Pancreatic Cancer among African American Women.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020 09 1;29(9):1775-1783. Epub 2020 Jul 1.

Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts.

Background: African Americans have the highest incidence of pancreatic cancer of any racial/ethnic group in the United States. There is evidence that consumption of red or processed meat and foods containing saturated fats may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer, but there is limited evidence in African Americans.

Methods: Utilizing the Black Women's Health Study (1995-2018), we prospectively investigated the associations of red and processed meat and saturated fats with incidence of pancreatic adenocarcinoma ( = 168). A food frequency questionnaire was completed by 52,706 participants in 1995 and 2001. Multivariable-adjusted HRs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards regression. We observed interactions with age ( = 0.01). Thus, results were stratified at age 50 (<50, ≥50).

Results: Based on 148 cases among women aged ≥50 years, total red meat intake was associated with a 65% increased pancreatic cancer risk (HR = 1.65; 95% CI, 0.98-2.78; = 0.05), primarily due to unprocessed red meat. There was also a nonsignificant association between total saturated fat and pancreatic cancer (HR = 1.85; 95% CI, 0.92-3.72; = 0.08). Red meat and saturated fat intakes were not associated with pancreatic cancer risk in younger women, and there was no association with processed meat in either age group.

Conclusions: Red meat-specifically, unprocessed red meat-and saturated fat intakes were associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer in African-American women aged 50 and older, but not among younger women.

Impact: The accumulating evidence-including now in African-American women-suggests that diet, a modifiable factor, plays a role in the etiology of pancreatic cancer, suggesting opportunities for prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-0048DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7484450PMC
September 2020

Night Shift Work and Fecundability in Late Reproductive-Aged African American Women.

J Womens Health (Larchmt) 2021 01 29;30(1):137-144. Epub 2020 Jun 29.

Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

We estimated the association between night shift work and fecundability among African American women. Black Women's Health Study participants ( = 560) aged 30-45 years reported their history of night shift work in 2005. Time to pregnancy for all pregnancies resulting in a livebirth was reported in 2011. We estimated the fecundability ratio (FR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) using proportional probabilities regression, accounting for multiple observations of individual women using generalized estimating equations. We observed 4,417 months of pregnancy attempt time resulting in 390 births. After adjustment for covariates, women who reported ever working night shifts had 20% lower fecundability compared with those who never reported night shift work (FR = 0.80, 95% CI: 0.59-1.04). The FR for women reporting night shift work with a frequency of ≥1 time per month and a duration of ≥2 years was 0.65 (95% CI: 0.47-0.94) relative to women reporting no shift work. We observed a decrease in fecundability associated with ever working night shifts (FR = 0.74, 95% CI: 0.56-0.96) among women aged ≥35 years, but not among younger women (FR = 1.33, 95% CI: 0.78-2.28). A history of working night shifts was associated with reduced fecundability among older reproductive-aged African American women attempting pregnancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/jwh.2019.8166DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7826436PMC
January 2021

Dietary Fat Intake and Risk of Uterine Leiomyomata: A Prospective Ultrasound Study.

Am J Epidemiol 2020 12;189(12):1538-1546

Uterine leiomyomata (UL) are associated with severe reproductive morbidity and are the primary indication for hysterectomy in the United States. A recent prospective cohort study of Black women reported positive associations between intakes of marine-sourced ω-3 fatty acids and UL risk. We examined whether intakes of dietary fat were associated with UL incidence in a 5-year prospective study of premenopausal Black women living in Detroit who underwent serial ultrasound. At baseline (2010-2012) and 20, 40, and 60 months of follow-up, participants underwent transvaginal ultrasound. Among 1,171 UL-free women at baseline, incident UL were detected in 277 women. Cox regression was used to estimate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for the association of dietary fat and UL incidence. Intakes of total fat and saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and trans-fat were not appreciably associated with UL incidence. Intake of the marine ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid, was associated with 49% higher UL incidence (quartile 4 vs. 1: hazard ratio = 1.49, 95% confidence interval: 1.04, 2.14; P for trend = 0.01). Intakes of total marine ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids were similarly associated with elevated UL incidence (hazard ratio = 1.35, 95% confidence interval: 0.94, 1.93; P for trend = 0.03). It remains unclear whether the fatty acids or persistent environmental pollutants drive the association.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwaa097DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7857646PMC
December 2020

Contribution of Germline Predisposition Gene Mutations to Breast Cancer Risk in African American Women.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2020 12;112(12):1213-1221

Departments of Health Sciences Research, Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, and Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55902, USA.

Background: The risks of breast cancer in African American (AA) women associated with inherited mutations in breast cancer predisposition genes are not well defined. Thus, whether multigene germline hereditary cancer testing panels are applicable to this population is unknown. We assessed associations between mutations in panel-based genes and breast cancer risk in 5054 AA women with breast cancer and 4993 unaffected AA women drawn from 10 epidemiologic studies.

Methods: Germline DNA samples were sequenced for mutations in 23 cancer predisposition genes using a QIAseq multiplex amplicon panel. Prevalence of mutations and odds ratios (ORs) for associations with breast cancer risk were estimated with adjustment for study design, age, and family history of breast cancer.

Results: Pathogenic mutations were identified in 10.3% of women with estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancer, 5.2% of women with ER-positive breast cancer, and 2.3% of unaffected women. Mutations in BRCA1, BRCA2, and PALB2 were associated with high risks of breast cancer (OR = 47.55, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 10.43 to >100; OR = 7.25, 95% CI = 4.07 to 14.12; OR = 8.54, 95% CI = 3.67 to 24.95, respectively). RAD51D mutations were associated with high risk of ER-negative disease (OR = 7.82, 95% CI = 1.61 to 57.42). Moderate risks were observed for CHEK2, ATM, ERCC3, and FANCC mutations with ER-positive cancer, and RECQL mutations with all breast cancer.

Conclusions: The study identifies genes that predispose to breast cancer in the AA population, demonstrates the validity of current breast cancer testing panels for use in AA women, and provides a basis for increased referral of AA patients for cancer genetic testing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djaa040DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7735769PMC
December 2020

Correlates of organochlorine pesticide plasma concentrations among reproductive-aged black women.

Environ Res 2020 05 7;184:109352. Epub 2020 Mar 7.

Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) are lipophilic persistent organic pollutants associated with adverse health outcomes. Black women have higher body burdens compared with other U.S. populations and research on their correlates is limited.

Methods: Using baseline data from a prospective cohort study of Black women aged 23-35 years from the Detroit, Michigan metropolitan area (enrolled 2010-2012), we examined correlates of plasma concentrations of the following OCPs: dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (p,p'-DDE), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), oxychlordane, and trans-nonachlor. At enrollment, we collected non-fasting blood samples from 742 participants. We also collected data on demographic, behavioral, dietary, occupational, and medical history factors via self-administered questionnaires, telephone interviews, and in-person clinic visits. We fit linear regression models to calculate percent (%) differences across categories of each correlate and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results: In models adjusted for all other correlates, a 5-year increase in age was associated with 24% higher oxychlordane (95% CI: 12%, 38%) and 26% higher trans-nonachlor (95% CI: 12%, 42%) plasma concentrations. Heavy alcohol use was associated with 7-9% higher plasma concentrations of p,p'-DDE, oxychlordane, and trans-nonachlor. Current smoking was associated with 10-19% higher plasma concentrations of all four OCPs, and was highest for current smokers of ≥10 cigarettes/day (% differences ranged from 22 to 29%). Compared with having never been breastfed during infancy, having been breastfed for ≥3 months was associated with 15% higher concentrations of p,p'-DDE (95% CI: 6%, 25%), 14% higher oxychlordane (95% CI: 5%, 24%), and 15% higher trans-nonachlor (95% CI: 5%, 27%). Consumption of ≥5 vs. ≤2 glasses/day of tap or bottled water was associated with 8-15% higher plasma concentrations of all four OCPs, and was highest for trans-nonachlor (% difference: 15%; 95% CI: 6%, 26%). No other dietary predictors were appreciably associated with plasma OCP concentrations. Obesity, parity, higher birth order, and longer lactation duration were inversely associated with plasma OCP concentrations.

Conclusions: In Black U.S. women of reproductive age, older age was an important correlate of plasma OCP concentrations. Exposure to OCPs earlier in life appears to contribute to current blood concentrations. In addition, tobacco, alcohol, and drinking water may be important sources of exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2020.109352DOI Listing
May 2020

Correlates of plasma concentrations of brominated flame retardants in a cohort of U.S. Black women residing in the Detroit, Michigan metropolitan area.

Sci Total Environ 2020 Apr 18;714:136777. Epub 2020 Jan 18.

Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) are brominated flame retardant chemicals detectable in the environment and U.S. population, and are associated with adverse health outcomes over the life course. Correlates of these organic pollutants are understudied among U.S. Black women.

Methods: Using baseline data from a prospective cohort study of U.S. Black women aged 23-35 years from the Detroit area of Michigan (2010-2012), we examined correlates of PBDEs and PBB-153. Non-fasting blood samples were collected from 742 participants at enrollment, a subset of women selected for a case-cohort study of environmental chemicals. Data on socio-demographics, behaviors, diet, medical history, and early-life exposures were collected via self-administered questionnaires, telephone interviews, and in-person clinic visits. We fit linear regression models to calculate percent differences and 95% confidence intervals in lipid adjusted plasma concentrations of 11 individual PBDE congeners and PBB-153 for each baseline predictor.

Results: In models adjusted for all other correlates, a 5-year increase in age was inversely associated with most PBDE congeners (% differences ranged from 6 to 15% lower), and was positively associated with PBB-153 (52% higher). A 5-kg/m increase in BMI was inversely associated with PBDE-153 and PBB-153 (16% lower for both), and 6% higher for PBDE-28. Compared with having never been breastfed in infancy, ≥3 months of breastfeeding in infancy was associated with 69% higher PBB-153 concentrations. Lower education, current smoking, and heavy alcohol use were associated with higher plasma concentrations of most flame retardants. Diet was not an important predictor.

Conclusion: Important correlates for elevated body burdens of PBB-153 were increasing age and a history of having been breastfed in infancy. Education, smoking, and heavy alcohol use were important predictors of elevated body burdens of most flame retardants. This study fills an important gap in the environmental health literature by focusing on an understudied population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.136777DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7268778PMC
April 2020

Predictors of self-reported oral health in the Black Women's Health Study.

J Public Health Dent 2020 01 16;80(1):70-78. Epub 2019 Dec 16.

Slone Epidemiology Center, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA.

Objectives: To describe the self-reported oral health of participants in the Black Women's Health Study (BWHS), a national cohort of 59,000 Black women, and to assess factors associated with this self-report.

Methods: Annual follow-up of the BWHS cohort occurs via surveys. The 2011 questionnaire included oral health self-report items, on which 38,573 respondents had complete data. Sample characteristics were summarized using descriptive statistics. We assessed correlations with several covariates by estimating odds ratios using multivariable-adjusted logistic regression models.

Results: Those who reported fair or poor oral health were more likely to report current smoking, recent tooth loss, diabetes or hypertension diagnoses, lower education levels, obesity, and higher parity. Few factors were related to self-reported gum disease with bone loss.

Conclusions: The oral health of US Black women is poorly understood. Correlates of oral health in the BWHS are largely consistent with what has been observed in other populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jphd.12351DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7227786PMC
January 2020

Risk factors for estrogen receptor positive ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast in African American women.

Breast 2020 Feb 6;49:108-114. Epub 2019 Nov 6.

Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University, Boscton, MA, USA.

Background: Compared to U.S. white women, African American women are more likely to die from ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Elucidation of risk factors for DCIS in African American women may provide opportunities for risk reduction.

Methods: We used data from three epidemiologic studies in the African American Breast Cancer Epidemiology and Risk Consortium to study risk factors for estrogen receptor (ER) positive DCIS (488 cases; 13,830 controls). Results were compared to associations observed for ER+ invasive breast cancer (n = 2,099).

Results: First degree family history of breast cancer was associated with increased risk of ER+ DCIS [odds ratio (OR): 1.69, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.31, 2.17]. Oral contraceptive use within the past 10 years (vs. never) was also associated with increased risk (OR: 1.43, 95%CI: 1.03, 1.97), as was late age at first birth (≥25 years vs. <20 years) (OR: 1.26, 95%CI: 0.96, 1.67). Risk was reduced in women with older age at menarche (≥15 years vs. <11 years) (OR: 0.62, 95%CI: 0.42, 0.93) and higher body mass index (BMI) in early adulthood (≥25 vs. <20 kg/m at age 18 or 21) (OR: 0.75, 95%CI: 0.55, 1.01). There was a positive association of recent BMI with risk in postmenopausal women only. In general, associations of risk factors for ER+ DCIS were similar in magnitude and direction to those for invasive ER+ breast cancer.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that most risk factors for invasive ER+ breast cancer are also associated with increased risk of ER+ DCIS among African American women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.breast.2019.10.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7012668PMC
February 2020

Association of type 2 diabetes with central-scalp hair loss in a large cohort study of African American women.

Int J Womens Dermatol 2019 Sep 6;5(4):261-266. Epub 2019 Jun 6.

Lenzy Dermatology and Hair Loss Center, Chicopee, Massachusetts.

Background: Hair loss on the central scalp commonly occurs among African American (AA) women and can pose substantial psychosocial burdens. The causes of hair loss remain obscure, although type 2 diabetes has been hypothesized to increase the risk of hair loss. The objective of the present study was to prospectively estimate the association between type 2 diabetes and severe central hair loss in AA women.

Methods: The Black Women's Health Study has collected data on medical and lifestyle factors, including diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, biennially since 1995 from AA women across the United States. The present analysis was based on responses from 5389 women to an online hair loss questionnaire in 2015. Respondents indicated severity of central hair loss on a validated six-item photographic scale; the highest levels, levels 3 to 5, were designated as severe. We used Cox proportional hazards models to estimate multivariable hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for type 2 diabetes in relation to severe central hair loss.

Results: During the follow-up period, 850 cases of severe hair loss occurred. The multivariable hazard ratio for severe hair loss associated with diabetes was 1.68 (95% CI, 1.38-2.06) overall, and 2.05 (95% CI, 1.48-2.85) for diabetes duration of ≥ 10 years.

Conclusion: Type 2 diabetes was associated with an increased risk of severe central scalp hair loss in AA women. Patients with type 2 diabetes should be followed closely for central scalp hair loss so that appropriate treatment can be offered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijwd.2019.05.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6831789PMC
September 2019

Perceived racial discrimination and risk of insomnia among middle-aged and elderly Black women.

Sleep 2020 01;43(1)

Slone Epidemiology Center, Boston University, Boston, MA.

Study Objective: To assess whether perceived racial discrimination is associated with insomnia among Black women.

Methods: Data on everyday and lifetime racism and insomnia symptoms were collected from questionnaires administered in the Black Women's Health Study, an ongoing prospective cohort of Black women recruited in 1995 from across the United States. In 2009, participants completed five questions on the frequency of discriminatory practices in daily life (everyday racism) and six questions on ever experiencing unfair treatment in key institutional contexts (lifetime racism). In 2015, the Insomnia Severity Index was used to assess insomnia symptoms. We estimated odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for associations of racism with insomnia, using multivariable logistic regression models adjusted for potential confounders.

Results: The 26 139 participants in the analytic sample were 40-90 years old (median = 57 years, SD = 9.6 years). Higher levels of everyday racism and lifetime racism were positively associated with subthreshold (ptrend < .01) and clinical insomnia (ptrend < .01). Results remained unchanged after further adjustment for sleep duration and shift work.

Conclusions: Higher levels of perceived racism were associated with increased odds of insomnia among middle-aged and elderly Black women. Thus, perceived racism may contribute to multiple racial health disparities resulting from insomnia. Helping minority populations cope with their experiences of discrimination may decrease the significant public health impact of sleep disruption and subsequent diagnoses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsz208DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6955644PMC
January 2020

Predictors of plasma polychlorinated biphenyl concentrations among reproductive-aged black women.

Int J Hyg Environ Health 2019 08 5;222(7):1001-1010. Epub 2019 Jul 5.

Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a class of lipophilic endocrine-disrupting chemicals with wide industrial use in the U.S. from the 1930s through 1977. Due to their environmental and biological persistence, low levels of PCBs remain detected in wildlife and humans. Although U.S. studies have shown higher serum PCB concentrations among Black women compared with White women, studies of correlates of PCB exposure among Black women are scarce. We examined predictors of plasma PCB concentrations in a cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from a prospective cohort study of 1693 premenopausal Black women aged 23-35 years from Detroit, Michigan (2010-2012). We collected demographic, behavioral, dietary, and medical data via self-administered questionnaires, telephone interviews, and in-person clinic visits, as well as non-fasting blood samples. We measured concentrations of 24 PCB congeners in baseline plasma from a subset of 762 participants. We used linear regression for log-transformed lipid-adjusted PCB concentrations to calculate percentage differences across levels of selected predictors. We did this separately for individual PCBs, sum of total PCBs, and sum of PCBs by degree of chlorination and hormonal activity. PCB concentrations were positively associated with age, duration of urban residence, cigarette smoking, heavy alcohol intake, and being breastfed in infancy, and inversely associated with body mass index (BMI) and lactation duration. The strength of some associations varied by degree of chlorination. For example, a 5-kg/m higher BMI corresponded to a 2.9% lower summed concentration of tri- and tetra-substituted PCBs (95% CI -4.6%, -1.2%), an 8.3% lower summed concentration of penta- and hexa-substituted PCBs (95% CI -10.0%, -6.5%), and a 12.1% lower summed concentration of hepta-, octa-, nona-, and deca-substituted PCBs (95% CI -13.7%, -10.4%). Likewise, associations for age and being breastfed in infancy were stronger for higher-chlorinated PCBs. Results agree with studies on predictors of PCB body burdens, few of which include large numbers of Black women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheh.2019.06.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6684292PMC
August 2019

Ovarian Cancer in Women of African Ancestry (OCWAA) consortium: a resource of harmonized data from eight epidemiologic studies of African American and white women.

Cancer Causes Control 2019 Sep 24;30(9):967-978. Epub 2019 Jun 24.

Slone Epidemiology Center, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA.

Purpose: Although the incidence rate of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is somewhat lower in African American (AA) than white women, survival is worse. The Ovarian Cancer in Women of African Ancestry (OCWAA) consortium will overcome small, study-specific sample sizes to better understand racial differences in EOC risk and outcomes.

Methods: We harmonized risk factors and prognostic characteristics from eight U.S.

Studies: the North Carolina Ovarian Cancer Study (NCOCS), the Los Angeles County Ovarian Cancer Study (LACOCS), the African American Cancer Epidemiology Study (AACES), the Cook County Case-Control Study (CCCCS), the Black Women's Health Study (BWHS), the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), the Multiethnic Cohort Study (MEC), and the Southern Community Cohort Study (SCCS).

Results: Determinants of disparities for risk and survival in 1,146 AA EOC cases and 2,922 AA controls will be compared to 3,368 white EOC cases and 10,270 white controls. Analyses include estimation of population-attributable risk percent (PAR%) by race.

Conclusion: OCWAA is uniquely positioned to study the epidemiology of EOC in AA women compared with white women to address disparities. Studies of EOC have been underpowered to address factors that may explain AA-white differences in the incidence and survival. OCWAA promises to provide novel insight into disparities in ovarian cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10552-019-01199-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7325484PMC
September 2019

Correlates of exposure to phenols, parabens, and triclocarban in the Study of Environment, Lifestyle and Fibroids.

J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 2020 01 28;30(1):117-136. Epub 2019 Jan 28.

Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.

We performed a cross-sectional analysis to identify correlates of urinary concentrations of seven phenols (bisphenols A, F, and S; 2,4-dichlorophenol; 2,5-dichlorophenol; benzophenone-3; triclosan), triclocarban, and four parabens (butyl, ethyl, methyl, and propyl). We analyzed baseline data from 766 participants in the Study of Environment, Lifestyle, and Fibroids, a prospective cohort study of 1693 Black women aged 23-34 years residing in Detroit, Michigan (2010-2012). We collected data on demographic, behavioral, and anthropometric factors via telephone interviews, clinic visits, and self-administered questionnaires. For each biomarker, we used linear regression models to estimate mean differences in log-transformed, creatinine-corrected concentrations across factors of interest. Each biomarker was detected in >50% of participants. Median creatinine-corrected concentrations were the highest for methyl paraben (116.8 μg/g creatinine), propyl paraben (16.8 μg/g creatinine), and benzophenone-3 (13.4 μg/g creatinine). Variables most strongly associated with biomarker concentrations included season of urine collection, education, and body mass index (BMI). BMI was positively associated with bisphenol A and S and triclocarban concentrations and inversely associated with butyl and methyl paraben concentrations. In this cohort of Black women, exposure to phenols, parabens, and triclocarban was prevalent and several factors were associated with biomarker concentrations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41370-019-0114-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6661224PMC
January 2020

Frequency of breast cancer subtypes among African American women in the AMBER consortium.

Breast Cancer Res 2018 02 6;20(1):12. Epub 2018 Feb 6.

Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

Background: Breast cancer subtype can be classified using standard clinical markers (estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)), supplemented with additional markers. However, automated biomarker scoring and classification schemes have not been standardized. The aim of this study was to optimize tumor classification using automated methods in order to describe subtype frequency in the African American Breast Cancer Epidemiology and Risk (AMBER) consortium.

Methods: Using immunohistochemistry (IHC), we quantified the expression of ER, PR, HER2, the proliferation marker Ki67, and two basal-like biomarkers, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and cytokeratin (CK)5/6, in 1381 invasive breast tumors from African American women. RNA-based (prediction analysis of microarray 50 (PAM50)) subtype, available for 574 (42%) cases, was used to optimize classification. Subtype frequency was calculated, and associations between subtype and tumor characteristics were estimated using logistic regression.

Results: Relative to ER, PR and HER2 from medical records, central IHC staining and the addition of Ki67 or combined tumor grade improved accuracy for classifying PAM50-based luminal subtypes. Few triple negative cases (< 2%) lacked EGFR and CK5/6 expression, thereby providing little improvement in accuracy for identifying basal-like tumors. Relative to luminal A subtype, all other subtypes had higher combined grade and were larger, and ER-/HER2+ tumors were more often lymph node positive and late stage tumors. The frequency of basal-like tumors was 31%, exceeded only slightly by luminal A tumors (37%).

Conclusions: Our findings indicate that automated IHC-based classification produces tumor subtype frequencies approximating those from PAM50-based classification and highlight high frequency of basal-like and low frequency of luminal A breast cancer in a large study of African American women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13058-018-0939-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5801839PMC
February 2018

Type II Diabetes and Incidence of Estrogen Receptor Negative Breast Cancer in African American Women.

Cancer Res 2017 11;77(22):6462-6469

Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts.

White women with type II diabetes (T2D) have an estimated 20% increased risk of developing breast cancer. Little is known about associations by breast cancer subtype or among African American (AA) women, who are disproportionately affected by T2D and estrogen receptor negative (ER-) breast cancer. We assessed the relation of T2D to incidence of ER- and ER+ breast cancer in data from the Black Women's Health Study, a prospective cohort of AA women enrolled in 1995 and followed biennially. During 847,934 person-years of follow-up, there were 1,851 incident invasive breast cancers, including 914 ER+ and 468 ER- cases. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards models were used to compute HRs for breast cancer incidence associated with T2D relative to no T2D, controlling for body mass index (BMI) and other potential confounders. The HR for T2D relative to no T2D was 1.18 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.00-1.40] for overall breast cancer incidence, with the increase accounted for by ER- cancer: HRs were 1.02 (95% CI, 0.80-1.31) for ER+ and 1.43 (95% CI, 1.03-2.00) for ER- cancer. The HR for T2D and ER- breast cancer was highest among nonobese women (1.92; 95% CI, 1.22-3.04). The findings suggest that AA women with T2D are at increased risk of developing ER- breast cancer and that poor metabolic health may be more important than obesity for this subtype. Given the high prevalence of T2D in AA women, the observed association could, in part, explain racial disparities in incidence of ER- breast cancer. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-17-1903DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5726548PMC
November 2017

Biology and Etiology of Young-Onset Breast Cancers among Premenopausal African American Women: Results from the AMBER Consortium.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2017 12 13;26(12):1722-1729. Epub 2017 Sep 13.

Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

African American (AA) women have higher incidence of aggressive, young-onset (<40 years) breast cancers. Young- and older-onset disease may have distinct tumor biologies and etiologies; however, studies investigating age differences among AA women have been rare and generally underpowered. We examined tumor characteristics and breast cancer risk factors associated with premenopausal young (<40) vs. older (≥40) AA women's breast cancer in the African American Breast Cancer Epidemiology and Risk Consortium (2,008 cases and 5,144 controls). Unconditional logistic regression models assessed heterogeneity of tumor biology and risk factor associations by age, overall, and by estrogen receptor status. Premenopausal AA women <40 years had higher frequency of poorer-prognosis tumor characteristics compared with older women, including negative estrogen and progesterone receptor status, triple-negative subtype, higher grade, higher stage, and larger tumors. Adiposity (i.e., waist-to-hip ratio) and family history of breast cancer were more strongly associated with young-onset disease [case-control OR = 1.46, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.04-2.05; OR = 3.10, 95% CI = 2.08-4.63, respectively] compared with older-onset disease (OR = 1.11, 95% CI = 0.91-1.35; OR = 1.57, 95% CI = 1.26-1.94). Breastfeeding showed a slight inverse risk association among young women (OR = 0.70, 95% CI = 0.43-1.16). Oral contraceptive use was associated with increased risk regardless of age. Considering various cutoff points for young age (<40, <45, <50), age-related heterogeneity was greatest when <40 was used. Among premenopausal AA women, diagnosis before age 40 is associated with more aggressive breast tumor biology and some etiologic differences. Modifiable risk factors including breastfeeding, adiposity, and oral contraceptive use may be important targets for mitigating harms of young-onset breast cancer. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-17-0450DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5903207PMC
December 2017

Pubertal growth and adult height in relation to breast cancer risk in African American women.

Int J Cancer 2017 12 13;141(12):2462-2470. Epub 2017 Sep 13.

Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University, Boston, MA.

Adult height has been positively associated with breast cancer risk. The timing of pubertal growth-as measured by age at menarche and age at attained height-may also influence risk. We evaluated associations of adult height, age at attained height, and age at menarche with incidence of invasive breast cancer in 55,687 African American women in the prospective Black Women's Health Study. Over 20 years, 1,826 invasive breast cancers [1,015 estrogen receptor (ER) positive; 542 ER negative] accrued. We used multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression to estimate hazards ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for associations with breast cancer overall and by ER status, mutually adjusted for the three factors of interest. Adult height was associated with increased risk of ER+ breast cancer (HR for ≥70 inches vs ≤63 inches: 1.44; 95% CI: 1.09, 1.89) but not ER- (corresponding HR: 1.16; 95% CI: 0.78, 1.71) (p heterogeneity = 0.34). HRs for attained height before age 13 versus age >17 were 1.30 (95% CI: 0.96, 1.76) for ER+ and 1.25 (95% CI: 0.80, 1.96) for ER- breast cancer. Results for age at menarche (≤11 vs ≥14 years) were similar for ER+ and ER- breast cancer (HR for breast cancer overall: 1.30; 95% CI: 1.12, 1.50). We confirmed height as a strong risk factor for ER+ breast cancer in African American women and identified early age at attained height as a risk factor for both ER+ and ER- breast cancer, albeit without statistical significance of the latter associations. While adult height and timing of pubertal growth are inter-related, our findings suggest that they may be independent risk factors for breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.31019DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5654671PMC
December 2017

Long-Term Exposure to NO2 and Ozone and Hypertension Incidence in the Black Women's Health Study.

Am J Hypertens 2017 Apr;30(4):367-372

Department of Environmental Health Sciences and Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, USA.

Background: Evidence shows that exposure to air pollutants can increase blood pressure in the short and long term. Some studies show higher levels of hypertension prevalence in areas of high pollution. Few data exist on the association of air pollution with hypertension incidence. The purpose of the present study was to prospectively assess the associations of the traffic-related nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and of ozone with the incidence of hypertension in the Black Women's Health Study (BWHS), a large cohort study of African American women.

Methods: We used Cox proportional hazards models to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for hypertension associated with exposure to NO2 and ozone among 33,771 BWHS participants. NO2 and ozone levels at participant residential locations were estimated with validated models.

Results: From 1995 to 2011, 9,570 incident cases of hypertension occurred in a total of 348,154 person-years (median follow-up time, 11 years). The multivariable HRs per interquartile range of NO2 (9.7 ppb) and ozone (6.7 ppb) were 0.92 (95% CI = 0.86, 0.98) and 1.09 (95% CI = 1.00, 1.18).

Conclusions: In this large cohort of African American women, higher ozone levels were associated with an increase in hypertension incidence. Higher NO2 levels were not associated with greater hypertension incidence; indeed, incidence was lower at higher NO2 levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajh/hpw168DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5861564PMC
April 2017