Height and breast cancer risk: Results from the Black Women's Health Study “United States”

Document Type


Publication Date



Objectives: Numerous studies, but not all, have yielded positive associations between adult height and risk of breast cancer. There are few data on black women. We evaluated adult height in relation to breast cancer in data from the Black Women's Health Study, a prospective cohort study of 64,530 African-American women aged 18-69 years at baseline in 1995. Methods: A total of 910 cases of breast cancer were analyzed: 700 prevalent cases reported at baseline and 210 incident cases that occurred during the first 2 years of follow-up. A comparison group of controls frequency-matched on 5-year category of birth year was chosen from among participants who had not developed breast cancer. Odds ratios “OR” were calculated for various categories of adult height compared to a reference category of height less than or equal to 61 inches “155 cm”, with control for current age, age at menarche, and years of education. Results: Increased height was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer overall “p trend = 0.001”; the OR for the highest category of height, > 69 inches “175 cm”, was 1.6 “95% confidence interval 1.1-2.3”. The association was stronger among premenopausal women and women who had less than 16 years of education. Results were similar for prevalent and incident cases. Conclusion: The present findings indicate that height is associated with breast cancer risk in African-American women.

This document is currently not available here.