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Wohlfahrt Jan; Melbye, Mads
Epidemiology: July 1999
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We examined the association between birth characteristics of offspring and the subsequent maternal risk of breast cancer in a population-based cohort of 998,499 women, 13 to 48 years of age at entry. There were 9,495 incident cases of breast cancer during 12.8 million person-years of follow-up among these women. Compared with mothers of singleton infants, mothers having a multiple birth had an increased risk of breast cancer in the first 5 years after a birth (relative risk (RR) = 1.8; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.1–2.8). The risk for mothers having a heavy-weighted child (>3.75 kg), as compared with a child of light weight (≤3 kg), was also slightly increased (RR = 1.2;95%CI = 0.9–1.5). This latter effect was primarily due to an increased incidence of tumors larger than 2 cm at diagnosis (RR = 1.4; 95% CI = 0.9–1.9). Our findings are compatible with the hypothesis that the hormonal level during pregnancy influences the risk of breast cancer in the early years after delivery.

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