Publications from the current and previous year are listed below; articles are listed chronologically within each year from the most to the least recent.

Most research articles have a link to the published abstract (a detailed summary) through the US. National Library of Medicine.

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BWHS_Printer friendly publication list November 2015 (articles listed from most to least recent)

Last Updated: November 23, 2015


Haddad SA, Lunetta KL, Ruiz-Narváez EA, Bensen JT, Hong CC, Sucheston-Campbell LE, Yao S, Bandera EV, Rosenberg L, Haiman CA, Troester MA, Ambrosone CB, Palmer JR. Hormone-related pathways and risk of breast cancer subtypes in African American women. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2015;154(1):145-54. doi: 10.1007/s10549-015-3594-x.

Genes contributing to breast cancer risk are poorly understood. We investigated over 140,000 genetic variants  in hormone pathways in relation to risk of breast cancer in Black women based on the four large studies in the African American Breast Cancer Epidemiology and Risk (AMBER) Consortium, which includes the BWHS. Our assessments identified eight genes in hormone pathways that might be associated with  breast cancer in Black women. These will be assessed in further studies with additional data.  link to online article

Wise LA, Radin RG, Rosenberg L, Adams-Campbell L, Palmer JR. History of uterine leiomyomata and incidence of breast cancer. Cancer Causes Control 2015;26(10):1487-93. doi: 10.1007/s10552-015-0647-8.

Uterine leiomyomata (uterine fibroids), which are benign tumors of the wall of the uterus, are influenced by sex steroid hormones. We prospectively assessed the relationship between UL and incidence of breast cancer, a hormonally responsive cancer, in the Black Women’s Health Study.  Based on 2,276 incident breast cancer cases ascertained during follow-up, the incidence rate ratio for the association between history of UL and breast cancer incidence was close to 1.00 for breast cancer overall and for estrogen receptor positive and estrogen receptor negative breast cancer. There were some small elevations in risk, mostly nonsignificant, for associations with diagnosis of UL before age 30. The results suggest that history of UL diagnosis overall is unrelated to incidence of breast cancer.  link to online article

Ambrosone CB, Zirpoli G, Hong CC, Yao S, Troester MA, Bandera EV, Schedin P, Bethea TN, Borges V, Park SY, Chandra D, Rosenberg L, Kolonel LN, Olshan AF, Palmer JR. Important role of menarche in development of estrogen receptor negative breast cancer in African American women. J Natl Cancer Inst 2015; 107(9): djv172. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djv172.

African American women experience higher rates of ER- (estrogen receptor-negative) breast cancer, an aggressive type of breast cancer, than white women. African American women also, on average, have an earlier age at menarche (first period) than other U.S. women. Causes of ER- breast cancer have not been clearly established. Data from the BWHS and three other  studies with large numbers of African American women (the AMBER Consortium) were used to assess the relationship of age at menarche with risk of ER- and ER+ breast cancer. Risk of ER+ breast cancer was increased among women with longer intervals between menarche and the birth of the first child, whereas later menarche was associated with lower risk of ER- breast cancer regardless of childbearing. These differences suggest that the biologic pathways influencing risk of ER- and ER+ breast cancer may differ.  link to online article

Bandera EV, Chandran U, Hong CC, Troester MA, Bethea TN, Adams-Campbell LL, Haiman CA, Park SY, Olshan AF, Ambrosone CB, Palmer JR, Rosenberg L. Obesity, body fat distribution, and risk of breast cancer subtypes in African American women participating in the AMBER Consortium. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2015;150(3):655-66. doi: 10.1007/s10549-015-3353-z.

Data from the BWHS and three other studies were used to assess the relationships of obesity and body fat distribution to different subtypes of breast cancer, including triple negative (TN) cancer, which occurs more commonly in Black women. Relationships differed according to the subtype of cancer and menopausal status. Higher body mass index was associated with decreased risk of postmenopausal estrogen receptor positive (ER+) cancer and with decreased risk of postmenopausal TN cancer. Higher body mass index around the age of 18 was associated with increased risk of premenopausal ER+ cancer and all subtypes of postmenopausal cancer. High waist-to-hip ratio, a measure of body fat distribution around the waist, was associated with increased risk of ER+ tumors. Different biologic mechanisms may be at work and more research is needed to understand the interplay between weight, body fat distribution, and breast cancer.  link to online article

Bethea TN, Rosenberg L, Hong CC, Troester MA, Lunetta KL, Bandera EV, Schedin P, Kolonel LN, Olshan AF, Ambrosone CB, Palmer, JR. A case-control analysis of oral contraceptive use and breast cancer subtypes in the African American Breast Cancer Epidemiology and Risk Consortium. Breast Cancer Res 2015;17(22):1-13. doi:10.1186/s13058-015-0535-x.

Previous studies have found that women who have recently used oral contraceptives have a higher risk of breast cancer, which dissipates after use ceases. This large study, based on the BWHS and three other studies, examined the association between oral contraceptive use and specific subtypes of breast cancer, namely estrogen receptor positive, estrogen receptor negative, and triple negative breast cancer. Long-term and recent oral contraceptive use were associated with increased risk of all subtypes of cancer. The risk decreased over time after use was halted.  link to online article

Boggs DA, Ban Y, Palmer JR, Rosenberg L. Higher diet quality is inversely associated with mortality in African-American women. J Nutr 2015;145(3):547-54. doi: 10.3945/jn.114.195735.

In an assessment of whether dietary intake is associated with risk of dying, information on food intake provided by Black Women’s Health Study participants in 1995 and 2001 was used to define several dietary patterns, such as the “Western” pattern. The Western pattern is a common pattern in the U.S., characterized by high intake of meat, fats, and sweets. The death rate was higher among BWHS participants with a Western type of diet whereas it was lower among women whose diets were high in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. These findings are similar to results in other populations and strengthen the evidence that type of dietary intake can increase or decrease the risk of dying.  link to online article

Vimalananda VG, Palmer JR, Gerlovin H, Wise LA, Rosenzweig JL, Rosenberg L, Ruiz-Narvaez, EA. Night-shift work and incident diabetes among African-American women. Diabetologia 2015;58(4):699-706. doi: 10.1007/s00125-014-3480-9.

In 2005 BWHS participants reported information on whether and how long they had worked night shifts. Based on follow-up through 2013, the incidence of type 2 diabetes in the BWHS was greater among women who had worked a night shift for at least 10 years than among women who had not worked night shifts. The relationship was present in women who were overweight or obese as well as in thinner women, indicating that the mechanism for the increase was not through weight. A possible mechanism may involve sleep disturbances, which are increasingly being associated with adverse health effects.  link to online article

Coogan PF, Castro-Webb N, Yu J, O'Connor GT, Palmer JR, Rosenberg L. Active and passive smoking and the incidence of asthma in the Black Women's Health Study. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2015;191(2):168-76. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201406-1108OC.

With BWHS data on smoking (“active”) and exposure to the smoke of others (“passive”), we examined the development of adult-onset asthma among  past smokers, current smokers, non-smokers who were exposed to the smoke of others (passive smokers), and non-smokers  never exposed to the smoke of others. Current active smoking was associated with the greatest increase in risk of adult-onset asthma. Passive smokers also experienced a higher risk but less than that of active smokers. These results suggest that avoiding smoking and reducing exposure to tobacco smoke could help to prevent the development of adult-onset asthma.  link to online article

Wise LA, Li S, Palmer JR, Rosenberg L. Depressive symptoms and risk of uterine leiomyomata. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2015;212(5):617.e1-10. doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2014.12.012.

Depression can affect the production of female hormones, which are thought to be involved in the development of uterine leiomyomata. In a study in the BWHS, the incidence of uterine fibroids was a little higher among women who reported more depressive symptoms than in women with fewer symptoms. This finding supports the idea that disruption of female hormones can influence risk of uterine fibroids.  link to online article

Boggs DA, Rosenberg L, Adams-Campbell LL, Palmer JR. A prospective approach to breast cancer risk prediction in African American women: the Black Women’s Health Study model. J Clin Oncol 2015;33(9):1038-44. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2014.57.2750.

Breast cancer prediction models that are currently used underestimate risk of breast cancer for African American women, resulting in lower rates of recruitment into breast cancer prevention trials. Based on data collected from Black Women’s Health Study (BWHS) participants from 1995 to 2005, BWHS developed a prediction model that includes more factors than used in previous models.  The model was then tested in BWHS data from 2006-2011. The results suggested an improvement on current prediction models among African American women. Use of the new model could result in an increase in the number of Black women eligible for breast cancer prevention trials, which in turn would ensure that new prevention methods are applicable to African American women.  link to online article

Palmer JR, Kipping-Ruane K, Wise LA, Yu J, Rosenberg L. Lactation in relation to long-term maternal weight gain in African American women. Am J Epidemiol 2015;181(12):932-9. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwv027.

The BWHS and other studies have previously shown that childbearing is associated with weight gain in the years following a pregnancy. In an analysis of the association of breast feeding with weight gain after pregnancy, BWHS participants who had a body mass index less than 30 before pregnancy and who breastfed their babies after the pregnancy gained a little less weight than similar women who did not breast feed, but this was not the case among heavier women who breast fed their babies. While the beneficial effect of breastfeeding on the health of babies is clear, the effect of breastfeeding on weight gain is likely very small.  link to online article

Cozier YC, Coogan PF, Govender P, Berman JS, Palmer JR, Rosenberg L. Obesity and weight gain in relation to incidence of sarcoidosis in US Black women: data from the Black Women's Health Study. Chest 2015;147(4):1086-93. doi: 10.1378/chest.14-1099.

Sarcoidosis, an inflammatory autoimmune disease that can affect the lungs and other organs, disproportionally affects Black women. Overweight and obesity causes inflammation. BWHS data was used to examine whether there is an association between weight and sarcoidosis. Weight gain and obesity were both associated with increased incidence of sarcoidosis. While plausible, this is the first report of such associations and they need to be confirmed in other studies.  link to online article

Felix AS,..., Palmer JR, Rosenberg L, Wise LA, et al. Intrauterine devices and endometrial cancer risk: a pooled analysis of the Epidemiology of Endometrial Cancer Consortium. Int J Cancer 2015;136(5):E410-22. doi: 10.1002/ijc.29229.

The Endometrial Cancer Consortium combines data from 18 separate studies, including the BWHS, to assess risk factors for endometrial cancer. Based on 8,801 cases of endometrial cancer, use of IUDs of various types was associated with reduced risk of endometrial cancer. To fully understand the biology of the decrease in risk, additional study is needed. In addition, further study of the types of IUDs currently available in the US is needed.  link to online article