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author:("Ma, huiyang")
1.  Relative income inequality and selected health outcomes in urban Chinese youth 
Self reported cross-sectional data gathered in 2002 from 12,449 middle and high school students from seven major cities in China were examined to explore the association of self-perceived relative income inequality (SPRII) with general health status, depression, stress, and cigarette smoking. Two types of self-perceived relative income were evaluated: household income relative to peers (SPRII-S) and relative to their own past (SPRII-P). SPRII-S and SPRII-P were coded as three-level categorical variables: lower, equal, and higher. As hypothesized, the youth in the “Lower” SPRII-S or SPRII-P groups reported the worst general health and the highest levels of depression and stress; the youth in the “Higher” groups reported the best general health. Unexpectedly, the youth in the “Higher” groups did not report the lowest levels of depression and stress, and the relationship between SPRII and cigarette smoking was even less straightforward. The expected positive relationship between SPRII and the general health status is consistent with previous research, but the relationships between SPRII and depression, stress, and cigarette smoking behavior are not. Further studies are needed to elucidate the complex associations between SPRII and health outcomes in rapidly transforming economies such as China.
doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.10.010
PMCID: PMC4184428  PMID: 22137733
Income inequality; Relative deprivation; Affluence; Health behavior; Youth; Mental health; China; Self-reported health
2.  Risk factors for self-reported arm lymphedema among female breast cancer survivors: a prospective cohort study 
Introduction
Lymphedema is a potentially debilitating condition that occurs among breast cancer survivors. This study examines the incidence of self-reported lymphedema, timing of lymphedema onset, and associations between sociodemographic, clinical and lifestyle factors and lymphedema risk across racial-ethnic groups using data from a multicenter, multiethnic prospective cohort study of breast cancer survivors, the Health, Eating, Activity and Lifestyle Study.
Methods
A total of 666 women diagnosed with breast cancer staged as in situ, localized or regional disease at ages 35 to 64 years were recruited through the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registries in New Mexico (non-Hispanic white and Hispanic white), Los Angeles County (black), and Western Washington (non-Hispanic white) and followed for a median of 10.2 years. We evaluated sociodemographic factors, breast cancer- and treatment-related factors, comorbidities, body mass index (BMI), hormonal factors, and lifestyle factors in relation to self-reported lymphedema by fitting Cox proportional hazards models, estimating hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).
Results
Over the follow-up period, 190 women (29%) reported lymphedema. The median time from breast cancer diagnosis to onset of lymphedema was 10.5 months (range: 0.5 to 134.9 months). Factors independently associated with lymphedema were total/modified radical mastectomy (versus partial/less than total mastectomy; HR = 1.37, 95% CI: 1.01 to 1.85), chemotherapy (versus no chemotherapy; HR = 1.48, 95% CI: 1.09 to 2.02), no lymph nodes removed (versus ≥10 lymph nodes removed; HR = 0.17, 95% CI: 0.08 to 0.33), pre-diagnostic BMI ≥30 kg/m2 (versus BMI <25 kg/m2; HR = 1.59, 95% CI: 1.09 to 2.31), and hypertension (versus no hypertension; HR = 1.49, 95% CI: 1.06 to 2.10). After adjusting for demographics and breast cancer- and treatment-related factors, no significant difference in lymphedema risk was observed across racial/ethnic groups. Analyses stratified by race/ethnicity showed that hypertension and chemotherapy were lymphedema risk factors only for black women.
Conclusions
Breast cancer patients who have undergone extensive surgery or extensive lymph node dissection, or who have a higher BMI should be closely monitored for detection and treatment of lymphedema. Further studies are needed to understand the roles of chemotherapy and hypertension in the development of lymphedema.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13058-014-0414-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13058-014-0414-x
PMCID: PMC4189147  PMID: 25145603
3.  Menopausal Hormone Therapy and Lung Cancer-Specific Mortality Following Diagnosis: The California Teachers Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e103735.
Previous results from research on menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) and lung cancer survival have been mixed and most have not studied women who used estrogen therapy (ET) exclusively. We examined the associations between MHT use reported at baseline and lung cancer-specific mortality in the prospective California Teachers Study cohort. Among 727 postmenopausal women diagnosed with lung cancer from 1995 through 2007, 441 women died before January 1, 2008. Hazard Ratios (HR) and 95% Confidence Intervals (CI) for lung-cancer-specific mortality were obtained by fitting multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models using age in days as the timescale. Among women who used ET exclusively, decreases in lung cancer mortality were observed (HR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.52–0.93). No association was observed for estrogen plus progestin therapy use. Among former users, shorter duration (<5 years) of exclusive ET use was associated with a decreased risk of lung cancer mortality (HR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.35–0.89), whereas among recent users, longer duration (>15 years) was associated with a decreased risk (HR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.38–0.95). Smoking status modified the associations with deceases in lung cancer mortality observed only among current smokers. Exclusive ET use was associated with decreased lung cancer mortality.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0103735
PMCID: PMC4117568  PMID: 25079077
4.  Anthropometric, behavioral, and female reproductive factors and risk of multiple myeloma: a pooled analysis 
Cancer causes & control : CCC  2013;24(7):1279-1289.
Background
Risk of developing multiple myeloma (MM) rises with age and is greater among men and blacks than among women and whites, respectively, and possibly increased among obese persons. Other risk factors remain poorly understood. By pooling data from two complementary epidemiologic studies, we assessed whether obesity, smoking, or alcohol consumption alters MM risk and whether female reproductive history might explain the lower occurrence of MM in females than males.
Methods
The Los Angeles County MM Case-Control Study (1985-92) included 278 incident cases and 278 controls, matched on age, sex, race, and neighborhood of residence at case’s diagnosis. We estimated MM risk using conditional logistic regression to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). In the prospective California Teachers Study (CTS), 152 women were diagnosed with incident MM between 1995-2009; we calculated hazard ratios using Cox proportional hazards analysis. Data from the two studies were pooled using a stratified, nested case-control sampling scheme (10:1 match) for the CTS; conditional logistic regression among 430 cases and 1,798 matched controls was conducted.
Results
Obesity and smoking were not associated with MM risk in the individual or combined studies. Alcohol consumption was associated with decreased MM risk among whites only (pooled OR=0.66, 95% CI=0.49-0.90) for ever vs. never drinking). Higher gravidity and parity were associated with increased MM risk, with pooled ORs of 1.38 (95% CI=1.01-1.90) for ≥3 versus 1-2 pregnancies and 1.50 (95% CI=1.09-2.06) for ≥3 versus 1-2 live births.
Conclusions
Female reproductive history may modestly alter MM risk, but appears unlikely to explain the sex disparity in incidence. Further investigation in consortial efforts is warranted.
doi:10.1007/s10552-013-0206-0
PMCID: PMC3684420  PMID: 23568533
multiple myeloma; women; reproductive; modifiable; risk factors; association; pooling; case-control; cohort; epidemiology
5.  Common non-synonymous SNPs associated with breast cancer susceptibility: findings from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium 
Milne, Roger L. | Burwinkel, Barbara | Michailidou, Kyriaki | Arias-Perez, Jose-Ignacio | Zamora, M. Pilar | Menéndez-Rodríguez, Primitiva | Hardisson, David | Mendiola, Marta | González-Neira, Anna | Pita, Guillermo | Alonso, M. Rosario | Dennis, Joe | Wang, Qin | Bolla, Manjeet K. | Swerdlow, Anthony | Ashworth, Alan | Orr, Nick | Schoemaker, Minouk | Ko, Yon-Dschun | Brauch, Hiltrud | Hamann, Ute | Andrulis, Irene L. | Knight, Julia A. | Glendon, Gord | Tchatchou, Sandrine | Matsuo, Keitaro | Ito, Hidemi | Iwata, Hiroji | Tajima, Kazuo | Li, Jingmei | Brand, Judith S. | Brenner, Hermann | Dieffenbach, Aida Karina | Arndt, Volker | Stegmaier, Christa | Lambrechts, Diether | Peuteman, Gilian | Christiaens, Marie-Rose | Smeets, Ann | Jakubowska, Anna | Lubinski, Jan | Jaworska-Bieniek, Katarzyna | Durda, Katazyna | Hartman, Mikael | Hui, Miao | Yen Lim, Wei | Wan Chan, Ching | Marme, Federick | Yang, Rongxi | Bugert, Peter | Lindblom, Annika | Margolin, Sara | García-Closas, Montserrat | Chanock, Stephen J. | Lissowska, Jolanta | Figueroa, Jonine D. | Bojesen, Stig E. | Nordestgaard, Børge G. | Flyger, Henrik | Hooning, Maartje J. | Kriege, Mieke | van den Ouweland, Ans M.W. | Koppert, Linetta B. | Fletcher, Olivia | Johnson, Nichola | dos-Santos-Silva, Isabel | Peto, Julian | Zheng, Wei | Deming-Halverson, Sandra | Shrubsole, Martha J. | Long, Jirong | Chang-Claude, Jenny | Rudolph, Anja | Seibold, Petra | Flesch-Janys, Dieter | Winqvist, Robert | Pylkäs, Katri | Jukkola-Vuorinen, Arja | Grip, Mervi | Cox, Angela | Cross, Simon S. | Reed, Malcolm W.R. | Schmidt, Marjanka K. | Broeks, Annegien | Cornelissen, Sten | Braaf, Linde | Kang, Daehee | Choi, Ji-Yeob | Park, Sue K. | Noh, Dong-Young | Simard, Jacques | Dumont, Martine | Goldberg, Mark S. | Labrèche, France | Fasching, Peter A. | Hein, Alexander | Ekici, Arif B. | Beckmann, Matthias W. | Radice, Paolo | Peterlongo, Paolo | Azzollini, Jacopo | Barile, Monica | Sawyer, Elinor | Tomlinson, Ian | Kerin, Michael | Miller, Nicola | Hopper, John L. | Schmidt, Daniel F. | Makalic, Enes | Southey, Melissa C. | Hwang Teo, Soo | Har Yip, Cheng | Sivanandan, Kavitta | Tay, Wan-Ting | Shen, Chen-Yang | Hsiung, Chia-Ni | Yu, Jyh-Cherng | Hou, Ming-Feng | Guénel, Pascal | Truong, Therese | Sanchez, Marie | Mulot, Claire | Blot, William | Cai, Qiuyin | Nevanlinna, Heli | Muranen, Taru A. | Aittomäki, Kristiina | Blomqvist, Carl | Wu, Anna H. | Tseng, Chiu-Chen | Van Den Berg, David | Stram, Daniel O. | Bogdanova, Natalia | Dörk, Thilo | Muir, Kenneth | Lophatananon, Artitaya | Stewart-Brown, Sarah | Siriwanarangsan, Pornthep | Mannermaa, Arto | Kataja, Vesa | Kosma, Veli-Matti | Hartikainen, Jaana M. | Shu, Xiao-Ou | Lu, Wei | Gao, Yu-Tang | Zhang, Ben | Couch, Fergus J. | Toland, Amanda E. | Yannoukakos, Drakoulis | Sangrajrang, Suleeporn | McKay, James | Wang, Xianshu | Olson, Janet E. | Vachon, Celine | Purrington, Kristen | Severi, Gianluca | Baglietto, Laura | Haiman, Christopher A. | Henderson, Brian E. | Schumacher, Fredrick | Le Marchand, Loic | Devilee, Peter | Tollenaar, Robert A.E.M. | Seynaeve, Caroline | Czene, Kamila | Eriksson, Mikael | Humphreys, Keith | Darabi, Hatef | Ahmed, Shahana | Shah, Mitul | Pharoah, Paul D.P. | Hall, Per | Giles, Graham G. | Benítez, Javier | Dunning, Alison M. | Chenevix-Trench, Georgia | Easton, Douglas F. | Berchuck, Andrew | Eeles, Rosalind A. | Olama, Ali Amin Al | Kote-Jarai, Zsofia | Benlloch, Sara | Antoniou, Antonis | McGuffog, Lesley | Offit, Ken | Lee, Andrew | Dicks, Ed | Luccarini, Craig | Tessier, Daniel C. | Bacot, Francois | Vincent, Daniel | LaBoissière, Sylvie | Robidoux, Frederic | Nielsen, Sune F. | Cunningham, Julie M. | Windebank, Sharon A. | Hilker, Christopher A. | Meyer, Jeffrey | Angelakos, Maggie | Maskiell, Judi | van der Schoot, Ellen | Rutgers, Emiel | Verhoef, Senno | Hogervorst, Frans | Boonyawongviroj, Prat | Siriwanarungsan, Pornthep | Schrauder, Michael | Rübner, Matthias | Oeser, Sonja | Landrith, Silke | Williams, Eileen | Ryder-Mills, Elaine | Sargus, Kara | McInerney, Niall | Colleran, Gabrielle | Rowan, Andrew | Jones, Angela | Sohn, Christof | Schneeweiß, Andeas | Bugert, Peter | Álvarez, Núria | Lacey, James | Wang, Sophia | Ma, Huiyan | Lu, Yani | Deapen, Dennis | Pinder, Rich | Lee, Eunjung | Schumacher, Fred | Horn-Ross, Pam | Reynolds, Peggy | Nelson, David | Ziegler, Hartwig | Wolf, Sonja | Hermann, Volker | Lo, Wing-Yee | Justenhoven, Christina | Baisch, Christian | Fischer, Hans-Peter | Brüning, Thomas | Pesch, Beate | Rabstein, Sylvia | Lotz, Anne | Harth, Volker | Heikkinen, Tuomas | Erkkilä, Irja | Aaltonen, Kirsimari | von Smitten, Karl | Antonenkova, Natalia | Hillemanns, Peter | Christiansen, Hans | Myöhänen, Eija | Kemiläinen, Helena | Thorne, Heather | Niedermayr, Eveline | Bowtell, D | Chenevix-Trench, G | deFazio, A | Gertig, D | Green, A | Webb, P | Green, A. | Parsons, P. | Hayward, N. | Webb, P. | Whiteman, D. | Fung, Annie | Yashiki, June | Peuteman, Gilian | Smeets, Dominiek | Brussel, Thomas Van | Corthouts, Kathleen | Obi, Nadia | Heinz, Judith | Behrens, Sabine | Eilber, Ursula | Celik, Muhabbet | Olchers, Til | Manoukian, Siranoush | Peissel, Bernard | Scuvera, Giulietta | Zaffaroni, Daniela | Bonanni, Bernardo | Feroce, Irene | Maniscalco, Angela | Rossi, Alessandra | Bernard, Loris | Tranchant, Martine | Valois, Marie-France | Turgeon, Annie | Heguy, Lea | Sze Yee, Phuah | Kang, Peter | Nee, Kang In | Mariapun, Shivaani | Sook-Yee, Yoon | Lee, Daphne | Ching, Teh Yew | Taib, Nur Aishah Mohd | Otsukka, Meeri | Mononen, Kari | Selander, Teresa | Weerasooriya, Nayana | staff, OFBCR | Krol-Warmerdam, E. | Molenaar, J. | Blom, J. | Brinton, Louise | Szeszenia-Dabrowska, Neonila | Peplonska, Beata | Zatonski, Witold | Chao, Pei | Stagner, Michael | Bos, Petra | Blom, Jannet | Crepin, Ellen | Nieuwlaat, Anja | Heemskerk, Annette | Higham, Sue | Cross, Simon | Cramp, Helen | Connley, Dan | Balasubramanian, Sabapathy | Brock, Ian | Luccarini, Craig | Conroy, Don | Baynes, Caroline | Chua, Kimberley
Human Molecular Genetics  2014;23(22):6096-6111.
Candidate variant association studies have been largely unsuccessful in identifying common breast cancer susceptibility variants, although most studies have been underpowered to detect associations of a realistic magnitude. We assessed 41 common non-synonymous single-nucleotide polymorphisms (nsSNPs) for which evidence of association with breast cancer risk had been previously reported. Case-control data were combined from 38 studies of white European women (46 450 cases and 42 600 controls) and analyzed using unconditional logistic regression. Strong evidence of association was observed for three nsSNPs: ATXN7-K264R at 3p21 [rs1053338, per allele OR = 1.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.04–1.10, P = 2.9 × 10−6], AKAP9-M463I at 7q21 (rs6964587, OR = 1.05, 95% CI = 1.03–1.07, P = 1.7 × 10−6) and NEK10-L513S at 3p24 (rs10510592, OR = 1.10, 95% CI = 1.07–1.12, P = 5.1 × 10−17). The first two associations reached genome-wide statistical significance in a combined analysis of available data, including independent data from nine genome-wide association studies (GWASs): for ATXN7-K264R, OR = 1.07 (95% CI = 1.05–1.10, P = 1.0 × 10−8); for AKAP9-M463I, OR = 1.05 (95% CI = 1.04–1.07, P = 2.0 × 10−10). Further analysis of other common variants in these two regions suggested that intronic SNPs nearby are more strongly associated with disease risk. We have thus identified a novel susceptibility locus at 3p21, and confirmed previous suggestive evidence that rs6964587 at 7q21 is associated with risk. The third locus, rs10510592, is located in an established breast cancer susceptibility region; the association was substantially attenuated after adjustment for the known GWAS hit. Thus, each of the associated nsSNPs is likely to be a marker for another, non-coding, variant causally related to breast cancer risk. Further fine-mapping and functional studies are required to identify the underlying risk-modifying variants and the genes through which they act.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddu311
PMCID: PMC4204770  PMID: 24943594
6.  Recreational physical activity and risk of papillary thyroid cancer among women in the California Teachers Study 
Cancer epidemiology  2012;37(1):46-53.
Purpose
Little is known about the relationship between physical activity and thyroid cancer risk, and few cohort data on this association exist. Thus, the present study aimed to prospectively examine long-term activity and risk of papillary thyroid cancer among women.
Methods
116,939 women in the California Teachers Study, aged 22 to 79 years with no history of thyroid cancer at cohort entry, were followed from 1995-1996 through 2009; 275 were diagnosed with invasive papillary thyroid cancer. Cox proportional-hazards regression provided relative risk (RR) estimates and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for associations between thyroid cancer and combined strenuous and moderate recreational physical activity both in the long-term (high school through age 54 years or current age if younger than 54 years) and recently (during the three years prior to joining the cohort).
Results
Overall, women whose long-term recreational physical activity averaged at least 5.5 MET-hours/week (i.e. were active) had a non-significant 23% lower risk of papillary thyroid cancer than inactive women (RR=0.77, 95% CI: 0.57, 1.04). RR estimates were stronger among normal weight or underweight women (body mass index, BMI<25.0 kg/m2, trend p=0.03) than among overweight or obese women (trend p=0.35; homogeneity-of-trends p=0.03). A similar pattern of risk was observed for recent activity (BMI<25 kg/m2, trend p=0.11; BMI≥25 kg/m2, trend p=0.16; homogeneity-of-trends p=0.04). Associations for long-term activity did not appear to be driven by activity in any particular life period (e.g. youth, adulthood).
Conclusions
Long-term physical activity may reduce papillary thyroid cancer risk among normal weight and underweight women.
doi:10.1016/j.canep.2012.09.003
PMCID: PMC3543486  PMID: 23116823
Physical activity; thyroid cancer; cancer prevention; women; overweight/obesity; Body Mass Index
7.  Quantitative measures of estrogen receptor expression in relation to breast cancer-specific mortality risk among white women and black women 
Introduction
The association of breast cancer patients’ mortality with estrogen receptor (ER) status (ER + versus ER-) has been well studied. However, little attention has been paid to the relationship between the quantitative measures of ER expression and mortality.
Methods
We evaluated the association between semi-quantitative, immunohistochemical staining of ER in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded breast carcinomas and breast cancer-specific mortality risk in an observational cohort of invasive breast cancer in 681 white women and 523 black women ages 35-64 years at first diagnosis of invasive breast cancer, who were followed for a median of 10 years. The quantitative measures of ER examined here included the percentage of tumor cell nuclei positively stained for ER, ER Histo (H)-score, and a score based on an adaptation of an equation presented by Cuzick and colleagues, which combines weighted values of ER H-score, percentage of tumor cell nuclei positively stained for the progesterone receptor (PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) results. This is referred to as the ER/PR/HER2 score.
Results
After controlling for age at diagnosis, race, study site, tumor stage, and histologic grade in multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models, both percentage of tumor cell nuclei positively stained for ER (Ptrend = 0.0003) and the ER H-score (Ptrend = 0.0004) were inversely associated with breast cancer-specific mortality risk. The ER/PR/HER2 score was positively associated with breast cancer-specific mortality risk in women with ER + tumor (Ptrend = 0.001). Analyses by race revealed that ER positivity was associated with reduced risk of breast cancer-specific mortality in white women and black women. The two quantitative measures for ER alone provided additional discrimination in breast cancer-specific mortality risk only among white women with ER + tumors (both Ptrend ≤ 0.01) while the ER/PR/HER2 score provided additional discrimination for both white women (Ptrend = 0.01) and black women (Ptrend = 0.03) with ER + tumors.
Conclusions
Our data support quantitative immunohistochemical measures of ER, especially the ER/PR/HER2 score, as a more precise predictor for breast cancer-specific mortality risk than a simple determination of ER positivity.
doi:10.1186/bcr3486
PMCID: PMC3978823  PMID: 24070170
8.  Breast Cancer Receptor Status: Do Results from a Centralized Pathology Laboratory Agree with SEER Registry Reports? 
We investigated the extent to which estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) status results from a centralized pathology laboratory agree with ER and PR results from community pathology laboratories reported to two Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) registries (Los Angeles County and Detroit) and whether statistical estimates for the association between reproductive factors and breast cancer receptor subtypes differ by the source of data. The agreement between the centralized laboratory and SEER registry classifications was substantial for ER (κ = 0.70) and nearly so for PR status (κ = 0.60). Among the four subtypes defined by joint ER and PR status, the agreement between the two sources was substantial for the two major breast cancer subtypes (ER−/PR−, κ = 0.69; ER+/PR+, κ = 0.62) and poor for the two rarer subtypes (ER+/PR−, κ = 0.30; ER−/PR+, κ = 0.05). Estimates for the association between reproductive factors (number of full-term pregnancies, age at first full-term pregnancy, and duration of breastfeeding) and the two major subtypes (ER+/PR+ and ER−/PR−) differed minimally between the two sources of data. For example, parous women with at least four full-term pregnancies had 40% lower risk for ER+/PR+ breast cancer than women who had never been pregnant [centralized laboratory, odds ratio, 0.60 (95% confidence interval, 0.39–0.92); SEER, odds ratio, 0.57 (95% confidence interval, 0.38–0.85)]; no association was observed for ER−/PR− breast cancer (both Ptrend > 0.30). Our results suggest that conclusions based on SEER registry data are reasonably reliable for ER+/PR+ and ER−/PR− subtypes.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-09-0301
PMCID: PMC3782852  PMID: 19661080
10.  Body Size and the Risk of Postmenopausal Breast Cancer Subtypes in the California Teachers Study Cohort 
Cancer causes & control : CCC  2012;10.1007/s10552-012-9897-x.
Purpose
To evaluate how the association between body size and breast cancer risk varies by tumor receptor subtype, host factors and other exposures among women in the California Teacher Study cohort.
Methods
Among 52,642 postmenopausal women, 2,321 developed invasive breast cancer with known estrogen- and progesterone-receptor status (1,652 ER+PR+, 338 ER+PR−, 312 ER−PR−) between 1995 and 2007. In a subset of 35,529 with waist circumference data, 1,377 developed invasive breast cancer with known ERPR status (991 ER+PR+, 208 ER+PR−, 169 ER−PR−) between 1997 and 2007. Multivariate Cox regression was performed to estimate relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).
Results
Obesity, adult weight gain of ≥40 pounds, greater abdominal adiposity and greater height increased risk of ER+PR+ breast cancer. The increased risk associated with postmenopausal obesity was limited to those who did not use hormone therapy (HT) at cohort entry (RR=1.37, 95% CI: 1.05–1.78 for BMI ≥30 vs. <25 kg/m2; P-interaction=0.14) and those who were not overweight or obese at age 18 (P-interaction=0.06). The increased risk associated with greater abdominal adiposity was limited to those who were not also overweight or obese (P-interaction=0.01). Neither obesity, abdominal adiposity nor height were associated with the risk of ER−PR− tumors.
Conclusions
The effects of body size on postmenopausal breast cancer risk differed by hormone receptor subtype, and among women with ER+PR+ tumors, by HT use and early adult body size.
doi:10.1007/s10552-012-9897-x
PMCID: PMC3366039  PMID: 22286371
breast cancer; obesity; hormone receptor status; abdominal adiposity; hormone therapy
11.  Mortality risk of black women and white women with invasive breast cancer by hormone receptors, HER2, and p53 status 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:225.
Background
Black women are more likely than white women to have an aggressive subtype of breast cancer that is associated with higher mortality and this may contribute to the observed black-white difference in mortality. However, few studies have investigated the black-white disparity in mortality risk stratified by breast cancer subtype, defined by estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) status. Furthermore, it is not known whether additional consideration of p53 protein status influences black-white differences in mortality risk observed when considering subtypes defined by ER, PR and HER2 status.
Methods
Four biomarkers were assessed by immunohistochemistry in paraffin-embedded breast tumor tissue from 1,204 (523 black, 681 white) women with invasive breast cancer, aged 35–64 years at diagnosis, who accrued a median of 10 years’ follow-up. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models were fit to assess subtype-specific black-white differences in mortality risk.
Results
No black-white differences in mortality risk were observed for women with triple negative (ER-negative [ER-], PR-, and HER2-) subtype. However, older (50–64 years) black women had greater overall mortality risk than older white women if they had been diagnosed with luminal A (ER-positive [ER+] or PR+ plus HER2-) breast cancer (all-cause hazard ratio, HR, 1.88; 95% confidence interval, CI, 1.18 to 2.99; breast cancer-specific HR, 1.51; 95% CI, 0.83 to 2.74). This black-white difference among older women was further confined to those with luminal A/p53- tumors (all-cause HR, 2.22; 95% CI, 1.30 to 3.79; breast cancer-specific HR, 1.89; 95% CI, 0.93 to 3.86). Tests for homogeneity of race-specific HRs comparing luminal A to triple negative subtype and luminal A/p53- to luminal A/p53+ subtype did not achieve statistical significance, although statistical power was limited.
Conclusions
Our findings suggest that the subtype-specific black-white difference in mortality risk occurs mainly among older women diagnosed with luminal A/p53- breast cancer, which is most likely treatable. These results further suggest that factors other than subtype may be relatively more important in explaining the increased mortality risk seen in older black women.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-13-225
PMCID: PMC3648503  PMID: 23642215
Breast cancer; Mortality; Racial disparity; Triple negative; Luminal A; ER; PR; HER2; p53
12.  Characteristics of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer in Patients With a BRCA1 Mutation: Results From a Population-Based Study of Young Women 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2011;29(33):4373-4380.
Purpose
Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs) are tumors with low or no expression of estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, or human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. These tumors have a poor prognosis, remain a clinical challenge, and are more common among women with BRCA1 mutations. We tested whether there are distinguishing features of TNBC after BRCA1 mutation status has been taken into account.
Patients and Methods
We sequenced BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in a population-based sample of 1,469 patients with incident breast cancer age 20 to 49 years from Los Angeles County (California). Information on tumor receptor status was available for 1,167 women. Clinical, pathologic, and hormone-related lifestyle characteristics were compared across patient subgroups defined by BRCA1 mutation status and triple-negative receptor status.
Results
Forty-eight percent of BRCA1 mutation carriers had TNBC compared with only 12% of noncarriers. Within BRCA1 mutation carriers, as well as within noncarriers, triple-negative receptor status was associated with younger age at diagnosis and higher tumor grade. Among women without a BRCA1 mutation, we observed that women with TNBC had higher premenopausal body mass index and earlier age at first full-term pregnancy than those with non-TNBC. Age at menarche and other reproductive factors were not associated with triple-negative status regardless of BRCA1 mutation status. Within BRCA1 mutation carriers, Ashkenazi Jewish women were about five times more likely to have TNBC than non–Ashkenazi Jewish women.
Conclusion
Our results suggest that among BRCA1 mutation carriers, as among noncarriers, there are unique characteristics associated with the triple-negative subtype. The findings in Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 mutation carriers should be confirmed.
doi:10.1200/JCO.2010.33.6446
PMCID: PMC3221522  PMID: 22010008
13.  The association of body mass index with mortality in the California Teachers Study 
Although underweight and obesity have been associated with increased risk of mortality, it remains unclear whether the associations differ by hormone therapy (HT) use and smoking. The authors examined the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and mortality within the California Teachers Study (CTS), specifically considering the impact of hormone therapy (HT) and smoking. The authors examined the associations of underweight and obesity with risks of all-cause and cause-specific mortality, among 115,433 women participating in the CTS, and specifically examined whether HT use or smoking modifies the effects of obesity. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression provided estimates of relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). During follow up, 10,574 deaths occurred. All-cause mortality was increased for underweight (BMI < 18.5; adjusted relative risk [RR] = 1.33, 95% confidence interval [CI] =1.20–1.47) and obese participants (BMI ≥ 30: RR = 1.27, 95% CI = 1.19–1.37) relative to BMI of 18.5 – 24.9). Respiratory disease mortality was increased for underweight and obese participants. Death from any cancer, and breast cancer specifically, and cardiovascular disease was observed only for obese participants. The obesity and mortality association remained after stratification on HT and smoking. Obese participants remained at greater risk for mortality after stratification on menopausal hormone therapy and smoking. Obesity was associated with increased all-cause mortality, as well as death from any cancer (including breast), and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. These findings help to identify groups at risk for BMI-related poor health outcomes.
doi:10.1002/ijc.25905
PMCID: PMC3246901  PMID: 21207419
14.  Obesity and Survival Among Black Women and White Women 35 to 64 Years of Age at Diagnosis With Invasive Breast Cancer 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2011;29(25):3358-3365.
Purpose
To evaluate the effect of obesity on survival among black women and white women with invasive breast cancer and to determine whether obesity explains the poorer survival of black women relative to white women.
Patients and Methods
We observed 4,538 (1,604 black, 2,934 white) women who were 35 to 64 years of age when diagnosed with incident invasive breast cancer between 1994 and 1998. Multivariate Cox regression models were used to examine the effect of body mass index (BMI, in kilograms per square meter) 5 years before diagnosis on risk of death from any cause and from breast cancer.
Results
During a median of 8.6 years of follow-up, 1,053 women died (519 black, 534 white), 828 as a result of breast cancer (412 black, 416 white). Black women were more likely to die than white women (multivariate-adjusted relative risk [RR], 1.33; 95% CI, 1.16 to 1.53). Compared with women with BMI of 20 to 24.9 kg/m2, those who were obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) had a greater risk of all-cause mortality (RR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.04 to 1.47) and breast cancer–specific mortality (RR, 1.20; 95% CI, 0.99 to 1.46). These associations were observed among white women (all-cause RR, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.21 to 1.96; breast cancer RR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.11 to 1.92), but not among black women (all-cause RR, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.81 to 1.29; breast cancer RR, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.79 to 1.33).
Conclusion
Obesity may play an important role in mortality among white but not black patients with breast cancer. It is unlikely that differences in obesity distributions between black women and white women account for the poorer survival of black women.
doi:10.1200/JCO.2010.34.2048
PMCID: PMC3164241  PMID: 21788570
15.  Cigarette Smoking, Passive Smoking, and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Risk: Evidence From the California Teachers Study 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2011;174(5):563-573.
Epidemiologic studies conducted to date have shown evidence of a causal relation between smoking and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) risk. However, previous studies did not account for passive smoking exposure in the never-smoking reference group. The California Teachers Study collected information about lifetime smoking and household passive smoking exposure in 1995 and about lifetime exposure to passive smoking in 3 settings (household, workplace, and social settings) in 1997–1998. Multivariable-adjusted relative risks and 95% confidence intervals were estimated by fitting Cox proportional hazards models with follow-up through 2007. Compared with never smokers, ever smokers had a 1.11-fold (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.94, 1.30) higher NHL risk that increased to a 1.22-fold (95% CI: 0.95, 1.57) higher risk when women with household passive smoking were excluded from the reference category. Statistically significant dose responses were observed for lifetime cumulative smoking exposure (intensity and pack-years; both P ’s for trend = 0.02) when women with household passive smoking were excluded from the reference category. Among never smokers, NHL risk increased with increasing lifetime exposure to passive smoking (relative risk = 1.51 (95% CI: 1.03, 2.22) for >40 years vs. ≤5 years of passive smoking; P for trend = 0.03), particularly for follicular lymphoma (relative risk = 2.89 (95% CI: 1.23, 6.80); P for trend = 0.01). The present study provides evidence that smoking and passive smoking may influence NHL etiology, particularly for follicular lymphoma.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwr127
PMCID: PMC3202153  PMID: 21768403
cohort studies; lymphoma, non-Hodgkin; smoking; tobacco smoke pollution
16.  Oral contraceptives, menopausal hormone therapy use and risk of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the California Teachers Study 
We examined oral contraceptive (OC) and menopausal hormonal therapy (MHT) use in relation to risk of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Women under age 85 years participating in the California Teachers Study with no history of hematopoietic cancer were followed from 1995 through 2007. 516 of 114,131 women eligible for OC use analysis and 402 of 54,758 postmenopausal women eligible for MHT use analysis developed B-cell NHL. Multivariable adjusted and stratified Cox proportional hazards models were fit to estimate relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Ever versus never OC use was marginally associated with lower B-cell NHL risk, particularly among women first using OCs before age 25 years (RR=0.72, 95%CI=0.51-0.99); yet, no duration-response effect was observed. No association was observed for ever versus never MHT use among postmenopausal women (RR=1.05, 95%CI=0.83-1.33) overall, or by formulation (estrogen alone, ET, or estrogen plus progestin, EPT). Among women with no MHT use, having bilateral oophorectomy plus hysterectomy was associated with greater B-cell NHL risk than having natural menopause (RR=3.15, 95%CI=1.62-6.13). Bilateral oophorectomy plus hysterectomy was not associated with risk among women who used ET or EPT. These results indicate that exogenous hormone use does not strongly influence B-cell NHL risk.
doi:10.1002/ijc.25730
PMCID: PMC3258672  PMID: 20957632
non-Hodgkin lymphoma; oral contraceptives; menopausal hormonal therapy; hysterectomy; bilateral oophorectomy
17.  Hormonal Factors and the Risk of Papillary Thyroid Cancer in the California Teachers Study Cohort 
Background
Despite the increasing incidence of thyroid cancer, there is limited information on its etiology. The strikingly higher rates in young women, compared to men, suggest that sex steroid hormones may be involved in the development of this disease.
Methods
We investigated the effects of menstrual, reproductive, and other hormonal factors on papillary thyroid cancer risk in the prospective California Teachers Study (CTS) cohort. Among 117,646 women, 233 were diagnosed with invasive histologically-confirmed papillary thyroid cancer after cohort enrollment and before January 1, 2008. Relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards regression models.
Results
Among younger women (age <45 years at baseline; approximately one-third of the cohort), but not older women, later age at menarche (age ≥14 years) was associated with increased risk (RR=1.88, 95% CI: 1.13–3.13; pinteraction by age=0.06). Risk was also increased among young women who had longer (>30 days) adolescent menstrual cycles (RR=1.78, 95% CI: 1.01–3.14) and whose last pregnancy had ended within five years of cohort enrollment (RR=2.21, 95% CI: 1.13–4.34). Among older women (age ≥45 years at baseline), ever use of estrogen-only therapy was associated with a statistically non-significant increase in risk (RR=1.69, 95% CI: 0.95–2.98).
Conclusions
The findings from this prospective analysis suggest that several factors related to delayed pubertal development and the transient effects of pregnancy may be particularly important in influencing risk in young women.
Impact
These results suggest the importance of future research into the role of progesterone and the estrogen-to-progesterone ratio.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-11-0381
PMCID: PMC3288117  PMID: 21791618
papillary thyroid cancer; menstrual factors; reproductive factors; exogenous hormone use; epidemiology
18.  Oral contraceptive use and survival in women with invasive breast cancer 
Background
Oral contraceptives (OCs) are widely used in the U.S. Although the relation between OC use and breast cancer incidence has been widely studied, the few studies examining associations between OC use prior to breast cancer diagnosis and survival are inconsistent.
Methods
Women with invasive breast cancer participating in the Women's Contraceptive and Reproductive Experiences (CARE) Study, a population-based case-control study (4565 women ages 35–64 years), and the California Teachers Study (CTS) cohort (3929 women ages 28–91 years) were followed for vital status. 1064 women died in the CARE Study (median follow-up, 8.6 years) and 523 died in the CTS (median follow-up, 6.1 years). Cox proportional hazards regression provided hazard rate ratio estimates (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for risk of death from any cause and from breast cancer.
Results
No association was observed for any OC use prior to diagnosis and all-cause mortality (CARE Study: RR=1.01 (95% CI=0.86–1.19); CTS: RR=0.84 (95% CI=0.67–1.05)). A decreased risk of all-cause mortality was observed in the CTS among women with more than 10 years of OC use (RR=0.67, 95% CI=0.47–0.96); however, no trend of decreasing risk with increasing OC duration was observed (P-trend=0.22), and no association was observed in the CARE study. No associations were observed for breast cancer-specific mortality.
Conclusions
OC use is not associated with all-cause or breast cancer-specific mortality among women with invasive breast cancer.
Impact
These two independent studies demonstrated no overall association between OC use and survival among women with breast cancer.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-11-0022
PMCID: PMC3132273  PMID: 21551244
Oral contraceptives; breast cancer; survival; risk assessment
19.  Lower Risk in Parous Women Suggests Hormonal Factors Important in Bladder Cancer Etiology 
Background
Urinary bladder cancer is two-to-four times more common among men than women, a difference in risk not fully explained by established risk factors. Our objective was to determine whether hormonal and reproductive factors are involved in female bladder cancer.
Methods
We analyzed data from two population-based studies: the Los Angeles-Shanghai Bladder Cancer Study, with 349 female case-control pairs enrolled in Los Angeles and 131 female cases and 138 frequency-matched controls enrolled in Shanghai; and the California Teachers Study (CTS), a cohort of 120,857 women with 196 incident cases of bladder urothelial carcinoma diagnosed between 1995 and 2005. We also conducted a meta-analysis summarizing associations from our primary analyses together with published results.
Results
In primary data analyses, parous women experienced at least 30% reduced risk of bladder cancer compared with nulliparous women (Shanghai: OR=0.38, 95%CI: 0.13–1.10; CTS: RR=0.69, 95%CI: 0.50–0.95) consistent with results of a meta-analysis of nine studies (summary RR=0.73, 95%CI: 0.63–0.85). The CTS, which queried formulation of menopausal hormone therapy (HT), revealed a protective effect for use of combined estrogen and progestin compared with no HT (RR=0.60, 95%CI: 0.37–0.98). Meta-analysis of three studies provided a similar effect estimate (summaryRR=0.65, 95%CI: 0.48–0.88).
Conclusions
A consistent pattern of reduced bladder cancer risk was found among parous women and those who used estrogen and progestin for HT.
Impact
These results suggest that more research is warranted to investigate hormonal and reproductive factors as possible contributors to bladder cancer risk.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-11-0017
PMCID: PMC3312020  PMID: 21493870
urothelial carcinoma; parity; pregnancy; progestin; estrogen
20.  MENOPAUSAL HORMONE THERAPY DOES NOT INFLUENCE LUNG CANCER RISK: RESULTS FROM THE CALIFORNIA TEACHERS STUDY 
Background
Results from studies examining the association between hormone therapy (HT) and lung cancer risk disagree.
Methods
We examined the associations between HT use and lung cancer risk among 60,592 postmenopausal women enrolled in the prospective California Teachers Study cohort. Between 1995 and 2007, 727 women were diagnosed with lung cancer. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models were fit using age as the time metric.
Results
No measure of HT use was associated with lung cancer risk (all p-values for trend≥0.4). In addition, no variations in risk by smoking status (never, ever, former, current), type of HT (E-alone, E+P use), type of menopause, or lung cancer histology were observed.
Conclusions
Our findings do not support an association between HT and lung cancer.
Impact
This large-scale, prospective study, which capitalizes on the detailed hormone use, smoking history, and type of menopause information available within this unique cohort, was unable to find any association between intake of HT and lung cancer risk.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-10-1182
PMCID: PMC3065239  PMID: 21266521
21.  Hepatic HNF4α Is Essential for Maintaining Triglyceride and Cholesterol Homeostasis 
Objective
Loss-of-function mutations in human hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α (HNF4α) are associated with maturity-onset diabetes of the young and lipid disorders. However, the mechanisms underlying the lipid disorders are poorly understood. In this report, we determined the effect of acute loss or augmentation of hepatic HNF4α function on lipid homeostasis.
Methods and Results
We generated adenovirus expressing LacZ (Ad-shLacZ) or small hairpin RNA of Hnf4α (Ad-shHnf4α). Tail vain injection of C57BL/6J mice with Ad-shHnf4α reduced hepatic Hnf4α expression and resulted in striking phenotypes including the development of fatty liver and a >80% decrease in plasma levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol and HDL-C. These latter changes were associated with reduced hepatic lipogenesis and impaired VLDL secretion. Deficiency in hepatic Hnf4α did not affect intestinal cholesterol absorption despite decreased expression of genes involved in bile acid synthesis. Consistent with the loss-of-function data, over-expression of Hnf4α induced numerous genes involved in lipid metabolism in isolated primary hepatocytes. Interestingly, many of these HNF4α-regulated genes were not induced in wild-type mice that over-expressed hepatic Hnf4α. Due to selective gene regulation, mice over-expressing hepatic Hnf4α had unchanged plasma triglyceride levels and decreased plasma cholesterol levels.
Conclusions
Loss of hepatic HNF4α results in severe lipid disorder as a result of dysregulation of multiple genes involved in lipid metabolism. In contrast, augmentation of hepatic HNF4α activity lowers plasma cholesterol levels but has no effect on plasma triglyceride levels due to selective gene regulation. Our data indicate that hepatic HNF4α is essential for controlling the basal expression of numerous genes involved in lipid metabolism and is indispensable for maintaining normal lipid homeostasis.
doi:10.1161/ATVBAHA.110.217828
PMCID: PMC3079249  PMID: 21071704
22.  Estrogenic botanical supplements, health-related quality of life, fatigue, and hormone-related symptoms in breast cancer survivors: a HEAL study report 
Background
It remains unclear whether estrogenic botanical supplement (EBS) use influences breast cancer survivors' health-related outcomes.
Methods
We examined the associations of EBS use with health-related quality of life (HRQOL), with fatigue, and with 15 hormone-related symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats among 767 breast cancer survivors participating in the Health, Eating, Activity, and Lifestyle (HEAL) Study. HRQOL was measured by the Medical Outcomes Study short form-36 physical and mental component scale summary score. Fatigue was measured by the Revised-Piper Fatigue Scale score.
Results
Neither overall EBS use nor the number of EBS types used was associated with HRQOL, fatigue, or hormone-related symptoms. However, comparisons of those using each specific type of EBS with non-EBS users revealed the following associations. Soy supplements users were more likely to have a better physical health summary score (odds ratio [OR] = 1.66, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.02-2.70). Flaxseed oil users were more likely to have a better mental health summary score (OR = 1.76, 95% CI = 1.05-2.94). Ginseng users were more likely to report severe fatigue and several hormone-related symptoms (all ORs ≥ 1.7 and all 95% CIs exclude 1). Red clover users were less likely to report weight gain, night sweats, and difficulty concentrating (all OR approximately 0.4 and all 95% CIs exclude 1). Alfalfa users were less likely to experience sleep interruption (OR = 0.28, 95% CI = 0.12-0.68). Dehydroepiandrosterone users were less likely to have hot flashes (OR = 0.33, 95% CI = 0.14-0.82).
Conclusions
Our findings indicate that several specific types of EBS might have important influences on a woman's various aspects of quality of life, but further verification is necessary.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-11-109
PMCID: PMC3234199  PMID: 22067368
23.  (2,4-Difluoro­phen­yl)[1-(1H-1,2,4-triazol-1-yl)cyclo­prop­yl]methanone 
The asymmetric unit of the title compound, C12H9F2N3O, contains two independent mol­ecules (A and B) in which the benzene and cyclo­propane rings form dihedral angles of 33.0 (1) and 29.7 (1)°, respectively. In the crystal, weak inter­molecular C—H⋯O hydrogen bonds link alternating A and B mol­ecules into chains along [010].
doi:10.1107/S1600536811040037
PMCID: PMC3247327  PMID: 22219945
24.  Parents’ Ages at Birth and Risk of Adult-onset Hematologic Malignancies Among Female Teachers in California 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2010;171(12):1262-1269.
Although advanced parental age at one's birth has been associated with increased risk of breast and prostate cancers, few studies have examined its effect on adult-onset sporadic hematologic malignancies. The authors examined the association of parents’ ages at women's births with risk of hematologic malignancies among 110,999 eligible women aged 22–84 years recruited into the prospective California Teachers Study. Between 1995 and 2007, 819 women without a family history of hematologic malignancies were diagnosed with incident lymphoma, leukemia (primarily acute myeloid leukemia), or multiple myeloma. Multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazards models provided estimates of relative risks and 95% confidence intervals. Paternal age was positively associated with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after adjustment for race and birth order (relative risk for age ≥40 vs. <25 years = 1.51, 95% confidence interval: 1.08, 2.13; P-trend = 0.01). Further adjustment for maternal age did not materially alter the association. By contrast, the elevated non-Hodgkin lymphoma risk associated with advanced maternal age (≥40 years) became null when paternal age was included in the statistical model. No association was observed for acute myeloid leukemia or multiple myeloma. Advanced paternal age may play a role in non-Hodgkin lymphoma etiology. Potential etiologic mechanisms include de novo gene mutations, aberrant paternal gene imprinting, or telomere/telomerase biology.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwq090
PMCID: PMC2915497  PMID: 20507900
cohort studies; hematologic neoplasms; leukemia, myeloid, acute; lymphoma, non-Hodgkin; maternal age; paternal age
25.  The roles of herbal remedies in survival and quality of life among long-term breast cancer survivors - results of a prospective study 
BMC Cancer  2011;11:222.
Background
Few data exist on survival or health-related quality of life (QOL) related to herbal remedy use among long-term breast cancer survivors. The objective of this report is to examine whether herbal remedy use is associated with survival or the health-related QOL of these long-term breast cancer survivors.
Methods
In 1999-2000, we collected the information of herbal remedy use and QOL during a telephone interview with 371 Los Angeles Non-Hispanic/Hispanic white women who had survived more than 10 years after breast cancer diagnosis. QOL was measured using the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 (SF-36) questionnaire. Patients were followed for mortality from the baseline interview through 2007. 299 surviving patients completed a second telephone interview on QOL in 2002-2004. We used multivariable Cox proportional hazards methods to estimate relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for mortality and applied multivariable linear regression models to compare average SF-36 change scores (follow-up - baseline) between herbal remedy users and non-users.
Results
Fifty-nine percent of participants were herbal remedy users at baseline. The most commonly used herbal remedies were echinacea, herbal teas, and ginko biloba. Herbal remedy use was associated with non-statistically significant increases in the risks for all-cause (44 deaths, RR = 1.28, 95% CI = 0.62-2.64) and breast cancer (33 deaths, RR = 1.78, 95% CI = 0.72-4.40) mortality. Both herbal remedy users' and non-users' mental component summary scores on the SF-36 increased similarly from the first survey to the second survey (P = 0.16), but herbal remedy users' physical component summary scores decreased more than those of non-users (-5.7 vs. -3.2, P = 0.02).
Conclusions
Our data provide some evidence that herbal remedy use is associated with poorer survival and a poorer physical component score for health-related QOL among women who have survived breast cancer for at least 10 years. These conclusions are based on exploratory analyses of data from a prospective study using two-sided statistical tests with no correction for multiple testing and are limited by few deaths for mortality analysis and lack of information on when herbal remedy use was initiated or duration of or reasons for use.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-222
PMCID: PMC3126792  PMID: 21645383
herb; breast cancer; survival; mortality; QOL

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