Higher circulating insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-1) levels have been associated with higher mammographic density among women in some, but not all studies. Also, few studies have examined the association between mammographic density and circulating growth hormone (GH) in premenopausal women. We conducted a cross-sectional study among 783 premenopausal women and 436 postmenopausal women who were controls in breast cancer case–control studies nested in the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) and NHSII. Participants provided blood samples in 1989–1990 (NHS) or in 1996–1999 (NHSII), and mammograms were obtained near the time of blood draw. Generalized linear models were used to assess the associations of IGF-1, IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3), IGF-1:IGFBP-3 ratio, and GH with percent mammographic density, total dense area, and total non-dense area. Models were adjusted for potential confounders including age and body mass index (BMI), among others. We also assessed whether the associations varied by age or BMI. In both pre- and postmenopausal women, percent mammographic density was not associated with plasma levels of IGF-1, IG-FBP-3, or the IGF-1:IGFBP-3 ratio. In addition, GH was not associated with percent density among premenopausal women in the NHSII. Similarly, total dense area and non-dense area were not significantly associated with any of these analytes. In postmenopausal women, IGF-1 was associated with higher percent mammographic density among women with BMI <25 kg/m2, but not among overweight/obese women. Overall, plasma IGF-1, IGFBP-3, and GH levels were not associated with mammographic density in a sample of premenopausal and postmenopausal women.
Keywords: Insulin-like growth factor 1, Insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-3, Mammographic density, Breast cancer