Public Health


Energy-related indicators, including physical activity, energy intake, body mass index (BMI) and adult weight change, have been linked to breast cancer risk. Very few studies of these associations have been conducted among black women, therefore we used the Nashville Breast Health Study (NBHS) to determine whether similar effects were seen in black and white women. The NBHS is a population-based case-control study of breast cancer among women age 25 to 75 years conducted between 2001 and 2010 in and around the Nashville Metropolitan area. Telephone interviews and self-administered food frequency questionnaires were completed with 2,614 incident breast cancer cases ascertained through hospitals and the statewide cancer registry, and 2,306 controls selected using random digit dialing. Among premenopausal white and black women, there was little effect of adult exercise or other energy-related indicators on breast cancer risk, regardless of tumor estrogen receptor (ER) status. The beneficial effect of adult exercise on postmenopausal breast cancer appeared to be comparable between white and black women (highest tertile relative to none - white odds ratio [OR] 0.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.6-1.0, p for trend=0.05; black OR 0.7, 95% CI 0.4-1.1, p for trend=0.07); however, among black women the reduction was limited to those with ER-positive disease. White and black women should be encouraged to engage in more physical activity to reduce their risk of postmenopausal breast cancer.

Original Citation

Sanderson, M., Lipworth, L., Shen-Miller, D., Nechuta, S., Beeghly-Fadiel, A., Shrubsole, M. J., & Zheng, W. (2015). Energy-Related Indicators and Breast Cancer Risk among White and Black Women. PLOS ONE, 10(4), e0125058. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0125058

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