Association of Lifestyle and Other Risk Factors with Breast Cancer According to Menopausal Status: A case-Control Study in the Region of Western Pomerania ( Poland )


Purposes: The purpose of this study was to examine the association between family history, reproductive,anthropometric, lifestyle factors and risk of breast cancer according to menopausal status, using data from acase-control study conducted in the Region of Western Pomerania (Poland).
Methods: A total, 858 women withhistological confirmed breast cancer and 1085 controls, free of any cancer diagnosis, aged 28-78 years, wereincluded in the study. The study was based on a self-administered questionnaire. Logistic regression was used tocompute odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals and a broad range of potential confounders was included inanalysis.
Results: Protective effect of a late age at menarche, a longer period of breast-feeding, increased levelsof: recreational physical activity, total vegetables or fruits intake, and intake of vitamins on the risk of breastcancer was observed among both pre- and post-menopausal women. Familial history of breast cancer, active orpassive smoking, experience of a crude psychological stress were positively associated with breast cancer regardlessmenopausal status. Current body weight, current body mass index, increased alcohol intake elevated breastcancer risk in postmenopausal women, while these factors did not alter risk among premenopausal women.Increased consumption of red meat or animal fats elevated the risk in premenopausal women. More educatedpremenopausal women had lower breast cancer than those graduated from elementary school. Low familyincome increased the risk in premenopausal women.
Conclusion: There is evidence for a dose-responserelationship between several lifestyle factors and breast cancer risk. The results also suggest that some differentmechanisms may operate in breast cancer etiology in pre-and post-menopausal women. A multifactorial processof breast cancer development, the complex interaction between physical activity, diet, energy intake and bodyweight, inconsistent and inconclusive data on breast cancer risk factors coming even from well-designedepidemiological studies are the case for continual update knowledge on primary prevention and identificationof changes in behavior that will reduce the risk.