Circulating Hormones and Mammographic Density in Premenopausal Women.Horm Cancer. 2018 04; 9(2):117-127.HC
Prior research suggests that several endogenous hormones in premenopausal women are associated with breast cancer risk; however, few studies have evaluated associations of endogenous hormones with mammographic density (MD) in premenopausal women. We conducted a cross-sectional study of plasma hormone levels in relation to MD among 634 cancer-free premenopausal women in the Nurses' Health Study II. We measured percent MD from screening mammograms using a computer-assisted method. We assayed estradiol, estrone, and estrone sulfate in blood samples timed in early follicular and mid-luteal phases of the menstrual cycle as well as testosterone, androstenedione, progesterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), DHEA sulfate, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), and anti-Müllerian hormone in luteal or untimed samples. We used multivariable linear regression to quantify the association of %MD with quartiles of each hormone, adjusting for age, body mass index, and breast cancer risk factors. Women in the highest quartile of follicular estradiol levels had significantly greater %MD compared to those in the lowest quartile [difference, 6.7 percentage points; 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.2, 11.3; p-trend < 0.001]. Similar associations were observed for follicular free estradiol but not luteal-phase estradiol. Also, women in the top (vs. bottom) quartile of free testosterone had significantly lower %MD (difference, - 4.7; 95% CI - 8.7, - 0.8; p-trend = 0.04). Higher SHBG was significantly associated with higher percent MD (difference, 4.8; 95% CI 1.1, 8.6; p-trend = 0.002). Percent MD was not strongly associated with other measured hormones. Results were similar in analyses that excluded women with anovulatory cycles. Our findings suggest that follicular estradiol and SHBG may play an important role in premenopausal percent MD.