Rationale: Several studies have linked long-term exposure to particulate air pollution with increased cardiopulmonary mortality; only two have also examined incident circulatory disease.
Objectives: To examine associations of individualized long-term exposures to particulate and gaseous air pollution with incident myocardial infarction and stroke, as well as all-cause and cause-specific mortality.
Methods: We estimated long-term residential air pollution exposure for more than 100,000 participants in the California Teachers Study, a prospective cohort of female public school professionals. We linked geocoded residential addresses with inverse distance-weighted monthly pollutant surfaces for two measures of particulate matter and for several gaseous pollutants. We examined associations between exposure to these pollutants and risks of incident myocardial infarction and stroke, and of all-cause and cause-specific mortality, using Cox proportional hazards models.
Measurements and Main Results: We found elevated hazard ratios linking long-term exposure to particulate matter less than 2.5 μm in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5), scaled to an increment of 10 μg/m3 with mortality from ischemic heart disease (IHD) (1.20; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02–1.41) and, particularly among postmenopausal women, incident stroke (1.19; 95% CI, 1.02–1.38). Long-term exposure to particulate matter less than 10 μm in aerodynamic diameter (PM10) was associated with elevated risks for IHD mortality (1.06; 95% CI, 0.99–1.14) and incident stroke (1.06; 95% CI, 1.00–1.13), while exposure to nitrogen oxides was associated with elevated risks for IHD and all cardiovascular mortality.
Conclusions: This study provides evidence linking long-term exposure to PM2.5 and PM10 with increased risks of incident stroke as well as IHD mortality; exposure to nitrogen oxides was also related to death from cardiovascular diseases.
particulate matter; cardiovascular diseases; air pollutants; epidemiology
The causes of childhood central nervous system (CNS) tumors are largely unknown. Birth characteristics have been examined as possible risk factors for childhood CNS tumors, although the studies have been underpowered and inconclusive. We hypothesized that birth anomalies and a mother's history of previous pregnancy losses, as a proxy for genetic defects, increase the risk for CNS tumors.
From the California Cancer Registry, we identified 3733 patients aged 0 to 14 years with CNS tumors, diagnosed from 1988 through 2006 and linked to a California birth certificate. Four controls were matched to each patient. We calculated odds ratios (ORs) for the reported presence of a birth defect and for history of pregnancy losses by using logistic regression, adjusted for race, Hispanic ethnicity, maternal age, birth weight, and birth order.
Offspring from mothers who had ≥2 fetal losses after 20 weeks' gestation had a threefold risk for CNS tumors (OR: 3.13 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.32–7.41]) and a 14-fold risk for high-grade glioma (OR: 14.28 [95% CI: 1.56–130.65]). Birth defects increased risk for the CNS cancers medulloblastoma (OR: 1.70 [95% CI: 1.12–2.57]), primitive neuroectodermal tumor (OR: 3.64 [95% CI: 1.54–8.56]), and germ cell tumors (OR: 6.40 [95% CI: 2.09–19.56]).
Multiple pregnancy losses after 20 weeks' gestation and birth defects increase the risk of a childhood CNS tumor. Previous pregnancy losses and birth defects may be surrogate markers for gene defects in developmental pathways that lead to CNS tumorigenesis.
childhood brain tumors; congenital anomalies; birth defects; central nervous system tumors
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.
cohort studies; lymphoma, non-Hodgkin; smoking; tobacco smoke pollution
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.
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.
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).
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.
These results suggest the importance of future research into the role of progesterone and the estrogen-to-progesterone ratio.
papillary thyroid cancer; menstrual factors; reproductive factors; exogenous hormone use; epidemiology
The causes of childhood cancers are largely unknown. Birth order has been used as a proxy for prenatal and postnatal exposures, such as frequency of infections and in utero hormone exposures. We investigated the association between birth order and childhood cancers in a pooled case-control dataset. The subjects were drawn from population-based registries of cancers and births in California, Minnesota, New York, Texas, and Washington. We included 17,672 cases less than 15 years of age who were diagnosed from1980-2004 and 57,966 randomly selected controls born 1970-2004, excluding children with Down syndrome. We calculated odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals using logistic regression, adjusted for sex, birth year, maternal race, maternal age, multiple birth, gestational age, and birth weight. Overall, we found an inverse relationship between childhood cancer risk and birth order. For children in the fourth or higher birth order category compared to first-born children, the adjusted OR was 0.87 (95% CI: 0.81, 0.93) for all cancers combined. When we examined risks by cancer type, a decreasing risk with increasing birth order was seen in the central nervous system (CNS) tumors, neuroblastoma, bilateral retinoblastoma, Wilms tumor, and rhabdomyosarcoma. We observed increased risks with increasing birth order for acute myeloid leukemia but a slight decrease in risk for acute lymphoid leukemia. These risk estimates were based on a very large sample size which allowed us to examine rare cancer types with greater statistical power than in most previous studies, however the biologic mechanisms remain to be elucidated.
birth order; case-control studies; child; epidemiology; neoplasms
Results from studies examining the association between hormone therapy (HT) and lung cancer risk disagree.
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.
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.
Our findings do not support an association between HT and lung cancer.
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.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among US Asian/Pacific Islander (API) and Latina women, despite low smoking prevalence. This study examined survival patterns following non-small cell lung cancer in a population-based sample of lung cancer cases from the San Francisco Bay Area Lung Cancer Study (SFBALCS).
Women diagnosed with lung cancer from 1998–2003 and 2005–2008 and identified through the Greater Bay Area Cancer Registry were telephone-screened for eligibility for the SFBALCS. The screener data were linked to the cancer registry data to determine follow-up. This analysis included 187 non-Hispanic White, 23 US-born Latina, 32 foreign-born Latina, 30 US-born API, and 190 foreign-born API never smokers diagnosed with lung cancer and followed through 2008.
All-cause survival was poorer among APIs (hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.7 (1.0–2.8) among US-born APIs; 1.2 (0.9–1.5) among foreign-born APIs), and Latinas (HR (95% CI) = 2.1 (1.2–3.6) among US-born Latinas; 1.4 (0.9–2.3) among foreign-born Latinas), relative to non-Hispanic Whites. These survival differences were not explained by differences in selected sociodemographic or clinical factors.
Further research should focus on factors such as cultural behaviors, access to or attitudes toward health care, and genetic variations, as possible explanations for these striking racial/ethnic differences.
Latina and API female never smokers diagnosed with lung cancer were up to two-times more likely to die than non-Hispanic Whites, highlighting the need for additional research to identify the underlying reasons for the disparities, as well as heightened clinical awareness.
lung cancer survival; Asian; Latina; Hispanic; never smokers; nativity
Although the Women’s Health Initiative trial (WHI) suggested that menopausal hormone therapy (HT) does not reduce coronary heart disease mortality overall, subsequent results have suggested that there may be a benefit in younger women. The California Teachers Cohort Study (CTS) questionnaire and mortality data was used to examine whether age modified the association between HT and the relative risk of overall mortality and ischemic heart disease (IHD) deaths.
Participants from the CTS were 71,237 postmenopausal women (mean age = 63, range 36 to 94 years) followed prospectively for mortality and other outcomes from 1995–1996 through 2004.
Age at baseline was a much more important modifier of HT effects than age at start of therapy. Risks for all-cause mortality (n=8,399) were lower for younger current HT users at baseline than for never users (for women ≤60 years: HR=0.54, 95% CI=0.46–0.62). These risk reductions greatly diminished, in a roughly linear fashion, with increasing baseline age (for women 85–94 years HR=0.94, 95% CI=0.81–1.10 for all-cause mortality). Similar results were seen for IHD deaths (n=1,464). No additional significant modifying effects of age at first use, duration of use, or formulation were apparent.
These results provide evidence that reduced risks of mortality associated with HT use are observed among younger users but not for older postmenopausal women even those starting therapy close to their time of menopause.
Overall mortality; heart disease; menopausal hormone therapy; risk; survival; age
To investigate whether obesity and hormone therapy (HT) are associated with ovarian cancer risk among women in the California Teachers Study cohort.
Of 56,091 women age ≥45 years, 277 developed epithelial ovarian cancer between 1995 and 2007. Multivariate Cox regression was performed.
Among women who never used HT, greater adult weight gain, waist circumference and waist-to-height ratio, but not adult BMI, increased risk of ovarian cancer. Compared to women who never used HT and had a stable adult weight, risk of ovarian cancer was increased in women who gained ≥40 lb (relative risk (RR) 1.8, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.0–3.0) or used HT for >5 years (RR 2.3 95% CI: 1.3–4.1). Having both exposures (RR 1.9, 95% CI: 0.99–3.5), however, did not increase risk more than having either alone. Results were similar for waist circumference and weight-to-height ratio; however, differences across HT groups were not statistically significant.
This study suggests that abdominal adiposity and weight gain, but not overall obesity, increase ovarian cancer risk and that there may be a threshold level beyond which additional hormones, whether exogenous or endogenous, do not result in additional elevation in risk. However, large pooled analyses are needed to confirm these findings.
Ovarian cancer; Obesity; Abdominal adiposity; Hormone therapy
To investigate whether hormone therapy (HT) and obesity are associated with endometrial cancer risk among postmenopausal women in the California Teachers Study cohort.
Of 28,418 postmenopausal women, 395 developed type 1 endometrial cancer between 1995 and 2006. Multivariate Cox regression was performed to estimate relative risks (RR), stratified by HT use (never used, ever estrogen-alone (ET), or exclusively estrogen-plus-progestin (EPT)).
Among women who never used HT, overall and abdominal adiposity were associated with increased risk; when evaluated simultaneously, abdominal adiposity was more strongly associated (RR 2.2, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1–4.5 for waist ≥35 vs. <35 inches). Among women who ever used ET, risk was increased in women with BMI ≥25 kg/m2 (RR 1.6, 95% CI: 1.1–2.3 vs. <25 kg/m2). Neither overall nor abdominal obesity was associated with risk in women who exclusively used EPT (P-interaction<0.001 for BMI by HT use).
Among women who never used HT, risk was strongly positively related to obesity and may have been influenced more by abdominal than overall adiposity; however, due to small numbers, this latter finding requires replication. Among women who ever used ET, being overweight at baseline predicted higher risk, whereas use of EPT mitigated any effect of obesity.
endometrial cancer; obesity; abdominal adiposity; hormone therapy
Background: Residential proximity to agricultural pesticide applications has been used as a surrogate for exposure in epidemiologic studies, although little is known about the relationship with levels of pesticides in homes.
Objective: We identified determinants of concentrations of agricultural pesticides in dust.
Methods: We collected samples of carpet dust and mapped crops within 1,250 m of 89 residences in California. We measured concentrations of seven pesticides used extensively in agriculture (carbaryl, chlorpyrifos, chlorthal-dimethyl, diazinon, iprodione, phosmet, and simazine). We estimated use of agricultural pesticides near residences from a statewide database alone and by linking the database with crop maps. We calculated the density of pesticide use within 500 and 1,250 m of residences for 180, 365, and 730 days before collection of dust and evaluated relationships between agricultural pesticide use estimates and pesticide concentrations in carpet dust.
Results: For five of the seven pesticides evaluated, residences with use of agricultural pesticides within 1,250 m during the previous 365 days had significantly higher concentrations of pesticides than did residences with no nearby use. The highest correlation with concentrations of pesticides was generally for use reported within 1,250 m of the residence and 730 days before sample collection. Regression models that also accounted for occupational and home use of pesticides explained only a modest amount of the variability in pesticide concentrations (4–28%).
Conclusions: Agricultural pesticide use near residences was a significant determinant of concentrations of pesticides in carpet dust for five of seven pesticides evaluated.
agriculture; dust; exposure; GIS; pesticides
Children of different racial/ethnic backgrounds have varying risks of cancer. However, few studies have examined cancer occurrence in mixed ancestry children.
Population-based case-control study examining cancer among children age <15 years using linked cancer and birth-registry data from 5 U.S. states from 1978 to 2004. Data were available for 13,249 cancer cases and 36,996 controls selected from birth records. Parental race/ethnicity was determined from birth records. Logistic regression was used to examine the association of cancer with different racial/ethnic groups.
Relative to Whites, Blacks had a 28% decreased risk of cancer (odds ratio (OR) 0.72, 95% CI 0.65–0.80), while both Asians and Hispanics had an approximate 15% decrease. Children of mixed White/Black ancestry also were at decreased risk (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.56–0.90), but estimates for mixed White/Asian and White/Hispanic children did not differ from those of Whites. Relative to Whites: 1.) Black and mixed White/Black children had decreased ORs for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, (0.39, 95% CI 0.31–0.49) and (0.58, 95% CI 0.37–0.91), respectively; 2.) Asian and mixed White/Asian children had decreased ORs for brain tumors, (0.51, 95% CI 0.39–0.68) and (0.79, 95% CI 0.54–1.16), respectively; and 3.) Hispanic and mixed White/Hispanic children had decreased ORs for neuroblastoma (0.51, 95% CI 0.42–0.61) and (0.67, 95% CI 0.50–0.90), respectively.
The tendency of mixed ancestry children to have risks more similar to racial/ethnic minority children than the White majority group may help formulate etiologic studies designed to more directly study possible genetic and environmental differences.
child; ethnicity; neoplasms/epidemiology; race; risk factors
Although recent reviews have suggested active smoking to be a risk factor for breast cancer, the association with passive smoke exposure remains controversial. This risk association was explored in a large prospective study of women, the California Teachers Study.
Detailed lifetime information on passive smoke exposure by setting (home, work, or social) and by age of exposure were collected in 1997 from 57,523 women who were lifetime nonsmokers and had no history of breast cancer. In the ensuing decade, a total of 1,754 women were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Cox proportional hazards models were fit to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) associated with several lifetime passive smoke exposure metrics.
For all breast cancer, measures of higher lifetime passive smoking intensity and duration were associated with non-statistically significant HRs of 1.11 to 1.14. For postmenopausal women, HRs for lifetime low, medium and high cumulative exposure were 1.17 (95%CI 0.91, 1.49), 1.19 (95%CI 0.93, 1.53), and 1.26 (95% CI 0.99, 1.60). For women exposed in adulthood (age ≥20) risk was elevated at the highest level of cumulative exposure (HR=1.18, 95% CI 1.00, 1.40), primarily among postmenopausal women (HR=1.25, 95% CI 1.01, 1.56). A statistically significant dose response was detected when analysis was restricted to women with moderate to high levels of passive smoke exposure.
These results suggest that cumulative exposures to high levels of side stream smoke may increase breast cancer risk among postmenopausal women who themselves have never smoked tobacco products.
passive smoking; tobacco; breast cancer; cohort study; women
In epidemiologic studies, neighborhood characteristics are often assigned to individuals based on a single residence despite the fact that people frequently move and, for most cancer outcomes, the relevant time-window of exposure is not known. The authors evaluated residential mobility patterns for a population-based series of childhood leukemia cases enrolled in the Northern California Childhood Leukemia Study.
Complete residential history from one year prior to birth to date of diagnosis was obtained for 380 cases diagnosed between 1995 and 2002. All residences were assigned U.S. Census block group designations using a geographic information system.
Overall, two-thirds (65.8%) of children had moved between birth and diagnosis, and a third (34.5%) moved during the first year of life. Approximately 25% of the mothers had moved during the year before the child's birth. Multivariable analysis indicated greater residential mobility to be associated with older age of the child at diagnosis, younger age of the mother at child's birth, and lower household income. Among those who had moved, residential urban/rural status for birth and diagnosis residences changed for about 20% of subjects, and neighborhood SES for 35%.
These results suggest that neighborhood attribute estimates in health studies should account for patterns of residential mobility. Estimates based on a single residential location at a single point in time may lead to different inferences.
Childhood leukemia; Epidemiology; Exposure classification; Residential mobility; Socioeconomic status
Long-term physical activity is associated with lower breast cancer risk. Little information exists on its association with subsequent survival.
California Teachers Study cohort members provided information in 1995–1996 on long-term (high school through age 54 years) and recent (past 3 years) participation in moderate and strenuous recreational physical activities. The 3,539 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer after cohort entry and through December 31, 2004, were followed through December 31, 2005. Of these, 460 women died, 221 from breast cancer. Moderate and strenuous physical activities were combined into low (≤0.50 hr/wk/yr of any activity), intermediate (0.51–3.0 hr/wk/yr of moderate or strenuous activity but no activity >3.0 hr/wk/yr) or high activity (>3.0 hr/wk/yr of either activity type). Multivariable relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for mortality were estimated using Cox proportional hazards methods, adjusting for race/ethnicity, estrogen receptor status, disease stage, and baseline information on comorbidities, body mass index, and caloric intake.
Women with high or intermediate levels of long-term physical activity had lower risk of breast cancer death (RR=0.53, 95% CI=0.35–0.80; and RR=0.65, 95% CI=0.45–0.93, respectively) than women with low activity levels. These associations were consistent across estrogen receptor status and disease stage, but confined to overweight women. Deaths due to causes other than breast cancer were related only to recent activity.
Consistent long-term participation in physical activity before breast cancer diagnosis may lower risk of breast cancer death, providing further justification for public health strategies to increase physical activity throughout the lifespan.
Ambient exposure from residential proximity to applications of agricultural pesticides may contribute to the risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Using residential histories collected from the families of 213 ALL cases and 268 matched controls enrolled in the Northern California Childhood Leukemia Study, the authors assessed residential proximity within a half-mile (804.5 meters) of pesticide applications by linking address histories with reports of agricultural pesticide use. Proximity was ascertained during different time windows of exposure, including the first year of life and the child’s lifetime through the date of diagnosis for cases or reference for controls. Agricultural pesticides were categorized a priori into groups based on similarities in toxicological effects, physicochemical properties, and target pests or uses. The effects of moderate and high exposure for each group of pesticides were estimated using conditional logistic regression. Elevated ALL risk was associated with lifetime moderate exposure, but not high exposure, to certain physicochemical categories of pesticides, including organophosphates, cholorinated phenols, and triazines, and with pesticides classified as insecticides or fumigants. A similar pattern was also observed for several toxicological groups of pesticides. These findings suggest future directions for the identification of specific pesticides that may play a role in the etiology of childhood leukemia.
Agricultural pesticides; cancer; childhood leukemia; environmental exposure; geographic information systems
To describe reproductive and lifestyle correlates of surgically confirmed fibroids.
Prospective Cohort Study
The California Teachers Study (CTS), an ongoing prospective study of over 133,000 female teachers and school administrators identified through the California State Teachers Retirement System.
CTS cohort members reporting no prior history of fibroids were ascertained prospectively for surgical diagnosis of fibroids using hospital patient discharge records.
Main Outcome Measure(s)
Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression methods were used to assess the association of self-reported menstrual, reproductive, and lifestyle characteristics with fibroids, using ages at the start and end of follow-up (in months) to define time on study. Hazard rate ratios, presented as relative risks (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI), were estimated.
The strongest risk factor we identified was African-American race/ethnicity, as compared to non-Latina white women. We observed a reduced risk of fibroids for postmenopausal women in comparison to premenopausal women, but use of hormone replacement therapies (regardless of formulation) were associated with an increased risk. Other risk factors included race, a family history of fibroids, being overweight and drinking alcohol, Smoking and diabetes were associated with a decreased risk of fibroids.
These observations provide a more detailed epidemiologic profile of women with surgically managed fibroids
Obesity is a risk factor for asthma, particularly in women, but few cohort studies have evaluated abdominal obesity, which reflects metabolic differences in visceral fat known to influence systemic inflammation. We examined the relationships of asthma prevalence with measures of abdominal obesity and adult weight gain, in addition to body mass index (BMI), in a large cohort of female teachers. We calculated prevalence odds ratios (ORs) for current asthma using multivariable linear modeling, adjusting for age, smoking, and race/ethnicity. Of the 88,304 women in the analyses, 13% (11,500) were obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) at baseline; 1,334 were extremely obese (BMI ≥ 40). Compared to those of normal weight, the adjusted OR for adult-onset asthma increased from 1.40 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.31, 1.49) for overweight women to 3.30 (95% CI: 2.85, 3.82) for extremely obese women. Large waist circumference (> 88 cm) was associated with increased asthma prevalence even among women with a normal BMI (OR = 1.37, 95% CI: 1.18, 1.59). Among obese women, the OR for asthma was greater among those who were also abdominally obese compared to women whose waist was ≤ 88 cm (2.36 vs. 1.57). Obese and overweight women were at greater risk of severe asthma episodes, measured by urgent medical visits and hospitalizations. This study confirms the association between excess weight and asthma severity and prevalence, and showed that a large waist was associated with increased asthma prevalence even among women considered to have normal body weight.
Asthma; Body Fat Distribution; Body Mass Index; Cohort Studies; Obesity; Prevalence
Risk of hepatoblastoma is strongly increased among children with very low birth weight (VLBW: <1,500 grams). Because data on VLBW and other childhood cancers is sparse, we examined the risk of malignancy following VLBW in a large dataset.
We combined case-control datasets created by linking the cancer and birth registries of California, Minnesota, New York, Texas, and Washington states, which comprised 17,672 children diagnosed with cancer at 0-14 years of age and 57,966 randomly selected controls. Unconditional logistic regression was used to examine the association of cancer with VLBW and moderately low birth weights (1,500-1,999g and 2,000-2,499g) compared to moderate/high birth weight (≥2,500) adjusting for sex, gestational age, birth order, plurality, maternal age, maternal race, state, and year of birth.
Most childhood cancers were not associated with low birth weights. However, retinoblastoma and gliomas other than astrocytomas and ependymomas were possibly associated with VLBW, with respective odds ratios (OR) of 2.43 (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.00-5.89) and 2.13 (95% CI: 0.71-6.39). Risk of other gliomas was also increased among children weighing 1,500-1,999g at birth (OR = 3.58; 95% CI: 1.98-6.47). For hepatoblastoma the ORs associated with birth weights of 2,000-2,499g, 1,500-1999g, and 350-1,499g were 1.56 (95% CI: 0.81-2.98), 3.37 (95% CI: 1.44-7.88), and 17.18 (95% CI: 7.46-39.54), respectively
These data suggest no association between most cancers and VLBW with the exception of the known association with hepatoblastoma and possible moderately increased risks of other gliomas and retinoblastoma, which may warrant confirmation.
Infant; very low birth weight; cancer; case-control studies; registries
Few risk factors for childhood cancer are well-established. We investigated whether advancing parental age increases childhood cancer risk.
We assessed the relationship between parental age and childhood cancer in a case-control study using pooled population-based data. Our pooling was based on linked cancer and birth registry records from New York, Washington, Minnesota, Texas, and California. Subjects included 17,672 cancer cases diagnosed at ages 0–14 years during 1980–2004 and 57,966 controls born during 1970–2004. Persons with Down syndrome were excluded. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated by logistic regression for the association between parental age and childhood cancer after adjustment for sex, birth weight, gestational age, birth order, plurality, maternal race, birth year, and state.
Positive linear trends per 5-year maternal age increase were –observed for childhood cancers overall (odds ratio = 1.08 [95% confidence interval = 1.06–1.10]) and 7 of the 10 most frequent diagnostic groups: leukemia (1.08 [1.05–1.11]), lymphoma (1.06 [1.01–1.12]), central nervous system tumors (1.07 [1.03–1.10]), neuroblastoma (1.09 [1.04–1.15]), Wilms’ tumor (1.16 [1.09–1.22]), bone tumors (1.10 [ 1.00–1.20]), and soft tissue sarcomas (1.10 [1.04–1.17]). No maternal age effect was noted for retinoblastoma, germ cell tumors, or hepatoblastoma. Paternal age was not independently associated with most childhood cancers after adjustment for maternal age.
Our results suggest that older maternal age increases risk for most common childhood cancers. Investigation into possible mechanisms for this association is warranted.
We investigated the association between hypertension, antihypertensive (AH) medication use, and breast cancer in a large prospective study, the California Teachers Study (CTS).
Information on history of hypertension and lifetime regular use of AH medications was collected from 114,549 women in 1995–1996. Among them, 4,151 invasive breast cancers were diagnosed between 1995 and 2006. Additional information on AH use was collected from 73,742 women in 2000–2001, and 1,714 of these women were subsequently diagnosed with breast cancer. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for breast cancer.
Use of AH medication for ≥5 years, when compared with no use, was associated with a modest increased risk of invasive breast cancer (RR = 1.18, 95%CI 1.02–1.36). This increased risk appeared to be confined to estrogen receptor (ER)-positive tumors (RR = 1.21, 95%CI 1.03–1.43) and pre-/peri-menopausal women (RR = 1.58, 95%CI 1.11–2.25).
Increased risk of invasive breast cancer was observed for long-term (≥5 years) AH use, and this appeared to be confined to ER + breast cancer and younger women.
Hypertension; Breast cancer; Antihypertensive medication
The literature is inconsistent regarding associations between parental smoking and childhood leukemia, possibly because previous studies used self-reported smoking habits as surrogates for children's true exposures to cigarette smoke. Here, the authors investigated the use of nicotine concentrations in house dust as measures of children's exposure to cigarette smoke in 469 households from the Northern California Childhood Leukemia Study (1999–2007). House dust was collected by using high-volume surface samplers and household vacuum cleaners and was analyzed for nicotine via gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. Using multivariable linear regression, the authors evaluated the effects of self-reported parental smoking, parental demographics, house characteristics, and other covariates on house-dust nicotine concentrations. They observed that nicotine concentrations in house dust were associated with self-reported smoking for periods of months and years before dust collection. Furthermore, the authors found that the relation between nicotine dust levels and self-reported smoking varied by parental age and socioeconomic status. These findings suggest that house-dust nicotine concentrations reflect long-term exposures to cigarette smoke in the home and that they may be less biased surrogates for children's exposures to cigarette smoke than self-reported smoking habits.
child; dust; environmental exposure; infant; leukemia; linear models; nicotine; smoking
Several studies have reported associations between long-term exposure to ambient fine particulate matter (PM) and cardiovascular mortality. However, the health impacts of long-term exposure to specific constituents of PM2.5 (PM with aerodynamic diameter ≤ 2.5 μm) have not been explored.
We used data from the California Teachers Study, a prospective cohort of active and former female public school professionals. We developed estimates of long-term exposures to PM2.5 and several of its constituents, including elemental carbon, organic carbon (OC), sulfates, nitrates, iron, potassium, silicon, and zinc. Monthly averages of exposure were created using pollution data from June 2002 through July 2007. We included participants whose residential addresses were within 8 and 30 km of a monitor collecting PM2.5 constituent data. Hazard ratios (HRs) were estimated for long-term exposure for mortality from all nontraumatic causes, cardiopulmonary disease, ischemic heart disease (IHD), and pulmonary disease.
Approximately 45,000 women with 2,600 deaths lived within 30 km of a monitor. We observed associations of all-cause, cardiopulmonary, and IHD mortality with PM2.5 mass and each of its measured constituents, and between pulmonary mortality and several constituents. For example, for cardiopulmonary mortality, HRs for interquartile ranges of PM2.5, OC, and sulfates were 1.55 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.43–1.69], 1.80 (95% CI, 1.68–1.93), and 1.79 (95% CI, 1.58–2.03), respectively. Subsequent analyses indicated that, of the constituents analyzed, OC and sulfates had the strongest associations with all four outcomes.
Long-term exposures to PM2.5 and several of its constituents were associated with increased risks of all-cause and cardiopulmonary mortality in this cohort. Constituents derived from combustion of fossil fuel (including diesel), as well as those of crustal origin, were associated with some of the greatest risks. These results provide additional evidence that reduction of ambient PM2.5 may provide significant public health benefits.
cardiopulmonary mortality; chronic exposure; cohort study; elemental carbon; fine particles; organic carbon; PM2.5; species; sulfates
To evaluate the reproductive and lifestyle correlates of a surgically confirmed diagnosis of endometriosis or adenomyosis in a large prospective cohort.
The California Teachers Study (CTS), an ongoing prospective study of female teachers and school administrators established from the rolls of the California State Teachers Retirement System.
Diagnoses of endometriosis and adenomyosis were identified from California statewide hospital patient discharge records for CTS cohort members with no prior history of endometriosis. Women with an incident surgical diagnosis of endometriosis (n=229) or adenomyosis (n=961) were compared to disease-free women in the same age range (for endometriosis, n=43,493; for adenomyosis, n=79,495).
Main Outcome Measure(s)
Logistic regression methods were used to calculate age-adjusted and multivariable-adjusted prevalence odds ratios (POR) and associated 95 percent confidence intervals (CI) for self-reported menstrual and reproductive characteristics.
Women diagnosed with endometriosis were younger than those diagnosed with adenomyosis. Factors significantly associated with endometriosis were having a mother or sister with endometriosis and nulligravidity. Factors significantly associated with adenomyosis were increasing parity, early menarche (≤10 years of age), and having short menstrual cycles (≤24 days in length). Women who were obese were also more likely to have a diagnosis of adenomyosis.
These observations provide the first epidemiologic profile of women with a surgical diagnosis of adenomyosis and indicate that this profile differs from that of women with a surgical diagnosis of endometriosis. Our results also suggest that adenomyosis but not endometriosis is associated with increased endogenous exposure to estrogen.
Adenomyosis; endometriosis; epidemiology