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Br J Cancer. 1988 July; 58(1): 99–104.
PMCID: PMC2246500

Risk of breast cancer in relation to reproductive factors in Denmark.


The effect of reproductive factors on breast cancer risk was evaluated in a population-based case-control study, including 1,486 breast cancer cases diagnosed over a one-year period in Denmark. They were identified from the files of the nationwide trial of the Danish Breast Cancer Co-operative group and the Danish Cancer Registry. The control group was an age-stratified random sample of 1,336 women from the general population. Data on risk factors were collected by self-administered (mailed) questionnaires. Significantly increased relative risks (RR) were associated with never being pregnant (RR = 1.47), an early terminated first pregnancy (RR = 1.43), and having a natural menopause after the age of 54 (RR = 1.67). Trends of decreasing risk were observed by increasing parity and age at menarche. These findings were independent of age at first full-term pregnancy which overall was not related to breast cancer risk, though a weak association appeared in women less than 50 years at diagnosis. The study confirmed that pregnancies must continue to term to offer protection against breast cancer.

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