Family history and risk of breast cancer in New Zealand.Int J Cancer. 1997 Nov 14; 73(4):503-7.IJ
A national population-based case-control study was used to assess the influence on breast cancer risk of a family history of the disease and the possibility of an interaction with reproductive risk factors. A total of 891 women aged 25-54 years with a first diagnosis of breast cancer and 1,864 control subjects randomly selected from the electoral rolls were interviewed. Age-adjusted relative risks (RR) of breast cancer were similar for mothers (RR = 2.3) and sisters (RR = 2.7) but somewhat higher for first-degree (RR = 2.6) than for second-degree (RR = 1.7) relatives. Cases reporting a first- or second-degree relative with breast cancer were no more likely to be diagnosed at an early age than those with no family history. With regard to the age at diagnosis of the relative, the RR was higher if breast cancer had been diagnosed before the age of 45 years than later; this was true for first-degree as well as for second-degree relatives. In women with no family history, the falling RRs with increasing age at menarche reflected the usual pattern, but no such trend was apparent in those reporting a mother or sister with breast cancer. For age at first full-term pregnancy, parity, breast-feeding, menopausal status, infertility, history of benign breast disease and body mass index, no evidence was seen of effect modification by a family history of breast cancer. Mothers of cases had about twice the cumulative rate of breast cancer as mothers of controls, a similar difference being seen between sisters of cases and sisters of controls.