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 brief description below and a link to the published abstract (a detailed summary) through the US. National Library of Medicine.
For prior years, click on the following links:
(articles listed from most to least recent)
Last Updated: December 19, 2018
Uribe-Salazar JM, Palmer JR, Haddad SA, Rosenberg L, Ruiz-Narváez EA. Admixture mapping and fine-mapping of type 2 diabetes susceptibility loci in African American women. J Hum Genet 2018;63(11):1109-17. doi: 10.1038/s10038-018-0503-2.
African American women are disproportionately affected by type 2 diabetes. Genetic factors may explain part of the excess risk. In this detailed analysis of genetic data from BWHS participants with and without type 2 diabetes, African ancestry was associated with greater risk of type 2 diabetes. Some of the genetic variants previously identified in studies of White populations were associated with increased risk in the BWHS. In addition, two new genomic regions associated with risk of type 2 diabetes were identified. Our results indicate that many genetic risk variants for type 2 diabetes are shared across ancestries. link to online article
Petrick JL, ..., Rosenberg L, ..., Palmer JR, et al. Body mass index, diabetes and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma risk: the Liver Cancer Pooling Project and meta-analysis. Am J Gastroenterol 2018;113(10):1494-505. doi: 10.1038/s41395-018-0207-4.
Obesity and diabetes are associated with an increased risk of the most common type of liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Few studies have examined obesity and diabetes in relation to the second most common type of liver cancer, intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC). In a collaborative analysis of data from multiple studies, including the BWHS, obesity and diabetes were associated with an increased risk of ICC, similar to the associations of these factors with HCC. link to online article
Yao S, ..., Rosenberg L, Palmer JR, ... et al. Genetic ancestry and population differences in levels of inflammatory cytokines in women: role for evolutionary selection and environmental factors. PLoS Genet 2018;14(6):e1007368. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007368.
Selection pressure due to exposure to infectious pathogens endemic to Africa may explain distinct genetic variations in immune response genes between racial groups. There are few data on population differences in constitutional immune environment, where genetic ancestry and environment are likely two primary sources of variation. In a study integrating genetic, molecular and epidemiologic data based on the AMBER consortium in which BWHS participates, population differences in plasma levels of 14 cytokines involved in innate and adaptive immunity, including those implicated in chronic inflammation, were examined, together with possible contributing factors to such differences among African American women and women of European ancestry. The results showed a strong ancestral impact in inflammation pathways, and suggest that immune differences due to ancestry may contribute to health disparities between African American and European American populations. link to online article
Denis GV, Sebastiani P, Bertrand KA, Strissel KJ, Tran AH, Slama J, Medina ND, Andrieu G, Palmer JR. Inflammatory signatures distinguish metabolic health in African American women with obesity. PLoS ONE 2018;13(5):e0196755. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0196755.
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) associated with obesity is an inflammatory condition that increases risk of heart disease and other conditions. We examined blood-based cytokines to develop inflammation scores for three groups of women within the BWHS: obese women with T2D and hypertension, obese women without T2D or hypertension, and lean women without T2D or hypertension. Inflammation profiles differed, with those of obese women without T2D or hypertension somewhat similar to those of lean women without T2D or hypertension. These analyses suggest that blood-based cytokine profiles are a useful way to discern inflammation and T2D risk among women with obesity, and would be a useful addition to personalized risk assessment. link to online article
Schoemaker MJ, ..., Bertrand KA, ..., Palmer JR, et al. Association of body mass index and age with subsequent breast cancer risk in premenopausal women. JAMA Oncol 2018;4(11):e181771. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2018.1771.
Body mass index (BMI), a measure of weight for a given height, has a unique relationship with breast cancer risk, with higher BMI associated with lower risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women but a higher risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. In a collaborative study of data from 19 follow-up studies, including the BWHS, BMI was assessed in relation to risk of premenopausal breast cancer. The results confirmed the results of previous studies, and found the strongest effects in early adulthood. The association of BMI with risk was stronger for estrogen receptor positive breast cancer than for estrogen receptor negative breast cancer. Understanding the biology of this effect could lead to new approaches to preventing breast cancer. link to online article
Bensen JT, ..., Rosenberg L, ..., Palmer JR, et al. A survey of microRNA single nucleotide polymorphisms identifies novel breast cancer susceptibility loci in a case-control, population-based study of African-American women. Breast Cancer Res 2018;20(1):45. doi: 10.1186/s13058-018-0964-4.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate gene expression and influence cancer. Since little is known about the role of germline variation in miRNA genes and breast cancer, we sought to identify variants associated with breast cancer risk in African-American women in the AMBER Consortium, of which BWHS is one of four member studies. Genetic analysis identified a miRNA gene (MIR3065) that displayed a statistically significant breast cancer signal and may play an important role in breast cancer development among African American women. This relationship needs further study. link to online article
Griswold MK, Crawford SL, Perry DJ, Person SD, Rosenberg L, Cozier YC, Palmer JR. Experiences of racism and breastfeeding initiation and duration among first-time mothers of the Black Women’s Health Study. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities 2018;5(6):1180-91. doi: 10.1007/s40615-018-0465-2.
Black women are less likely to breastfeed than other groups in the U.S. We analyzed BWHS data to explore whether neighborhood segregation, birthplace (first or second generation US born vs foreign-born) and experiences of racism influenced breastfeeding initiation and duration. We found that BWHS participants born in the US were less likely to breastfeed, or they breastfed for a shorter time. The same was true for women who grew up in a predominantly Black neighborhood compared to those who grew up in a predominantly White neighborhood. Experience of racism on the job was associated with a shorter duration of breastfeeding. These results indicate that structural-level interventions are needed to lessen racial disparities in breastfeeding rates in the U.S. link to online article
Allott EH, ..., Bethea TN, ..., Palmer JR, et al. Frequency of breast cancer subtypes among African American women in the AMBER consortium. Breast Cancer Res 2018;20(1):12. doi: 10.1186/s13058-018-0939-5.
Breast cancer subtype can be classified using standard clinical markers (estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)) from medical records, supplemented with additional markers. The aim of this study was to optimize tumor classification using automated methods in order to describe subtype frequency in the AMBER consortium of studies of breast cancer in African American women. Our findings indicate that automated immunohistochemistry-based classification produces tumor subtype frequencies approximating those from PAM50-based classification. We found a high frequency of basal-like breast cancer and a low frequency of luminal A breast cancer in the AMBER consortium relative to frequencies among white women. link to online article
Haddad SA, Ruiz-Narváez EA, Cozier YC, Gerlovin H, Rosenberg L, Palmer JR. Association of degree of European genetic ancestry with serum vitamin D levels in African Americans. Am J Epidemiol 2018;187(7):1420-3. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwy015.
Vitamin D levels are generally lower in African Americans than in White Americans, and that difference may be related to genetic components of ancestry. In this analysis, based on genotyping of blood samples from BWHS participants, women who were not taking vitamin D supplements and had a higher percentage of European ancestry had higher levels of vitamin D. There was no association of vitamin D level with percent European ancestry among women who were taking vitamin D supplements. These results suggest that differences in vitamin D levels can be explained, in part, by genetic ancestry and also suggest that deficiencies related to ancestry may be resolved by use of vitamin D supplements. link to online article
Petrick JL, ...,Palmer JR, ..., Rosenberg L, et al. Tobacco, alcohol use and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma: The Liver Cancer Pooling Project. Br J Cancer 2018;118(7):1005-12. doi: 10.1038/s41416-018-0007-z.
In this collaborative study of 14 U.S.-based follow-up studies including the BWHS, we examined risk of two different types of liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC), in relation to smoking and alcohol use. Current smoking and heavy alcohol consumption was related to an increased risk of HCC and ICC. Among individuals who quit smoking more than 30 years ago, HCC risk was almost equivalent to that of individuals who had never smoked. Light-to-moderate alcohol consumption (<3 drinks per day) was related to a decreased risk of HCC, but not ICC. These findings suggest that smoking cessation and light-to-moderate drinking may reduce the risk of liver cancer. link to online article
Cozier YC, Yu J, Wise LA, VanderWeele TJ, Balboni TA, Argentieri MA, Rosenberg L, Palmer JR, Shields A. Religious and spiritual coping and risk of incident hypertension in the Black Women's Health Study. Ann Behav Med 2018;52(12):989-98. doi: 10.1093/abm/kay001.
Stress has been linked to increased risk of hypertension (high blood pressure). We assessed data from the BWHS to examine the hypothesis that religious and/or spiritual coping could reduce the risk of developing hypertension by reducing stress. Responses to questions regarding spiritual and religious practices and coping, collected in 2005, were analyzed in relation to newly diagnosed hypertension that occurred after 2005. Religious/ spiritual coping was associated with decreased risk of hypertension, with a stronger association among women who reported more stress. However, more frequent prayer was associated with increased risk of hypertension. More research is needed to understand these associations and to determine how religious/spiritual practices and coping may affect health. link to online article
Hong CC, ..., Rosenberg L, ..., Palmer JR, et al. Genetic variants in immune-related pathways and breast cancer risk in African American women in the AMBER consortium. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2018;27(3):321-30. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-17-0434.
It has been proposed that immunity shaped by exposure to infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa may play a role in the development of breast cancer in African American women. In a collaborative study (the AMBER consortium) that includes the BWHS, genetic variants in several immune pathways were associated with risk of ER+ and ER- breast cancer, with more associations for ER- cancer. The findings support the hypothesis that inherited genetic variation in immune pathways, which result in part from exposure to endemic infectious diseases and parasites common in sub-Saharan Africa, is a factor in breast cancer susceptibility in African American women. link to online article
Sponholtz TR, Wise LA, Hatch EE, Palmer JR, Rosenberg L, Adams-Campbell LL. Exogenous hormone use and endometrial cancer in U.S. black women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2018;27(5):558-65. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-17-0722.
Previous studies, primarily of White women, have found lower endometrial cancer risk among women who use oral contraceptives and higher risk among women who use estrogen-only female hormone supplements. We examined these associations within the BWHS. Based on 300 endometrial cancer cases that developed during follow-up, we found that BWHS participants who had used oral contraceptives for at least 10 years had a lower risk of endometrial cancer, and those who currently used estrogen-only female hormone supplements had a higher risk, consistent with results among White women. link to online article
Palmer JR, Castro-Webb N, Bertrand K, Bethea TN, Denis GV. Type 2 diabetes and incidence of estrogen receptor negative breast cancer in African American women. Cancer Res 2017;77(22):6462-9. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-17-1903.
Type 2 diabetes has been associated with increased risk of developing breast cancer among white women. While type 2 diabetes occurs much more commonly among Black women, little is known about its relation to breast cancer incidence among Black women. In the BWHS, we found that type 2 diabetes was not associated with the risk of estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer, whereas risk of estrogen receptor-negative (ER-) breast cancer was 40% greater among women with type 2 diabetes than among unaffected women. The high prevalence of type 2 diabetes in Black women could be contributing to the higher incidence of ER- breast cancer, an aggressive subtype, relative to that in other population groups. link to online article
Chollet-Hinton L, Olshan AF, Nichols HB, Anders CK, Lund JL, Allott EH, Bethea TN, Hong CC, Cohen SM, Khoury T, Zirpoli GR, Borges VF, Rosenberg L, Bandera EV, Ambrosone CB, Palmer JR, Troester MA. Biology and etiology of young-onset breast cancers among premenopausal African American women: results from the AMBER Consortium. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2017;26(12):1722-9. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-17-0450.
African American women have a higher incidence of aggressive breast cancer at younger ages. Using data from the AMBER Consortium, a consortium of studies of breast cancer in African American (AA) women that includes the BWHS, we examined tumor characteristics and breast cancer risk factors associated with breast cancer occurring among premenopausal women at ages <40 and 40 or older. Women <40 years old had a higher frequency of poorer-prognosis tumors compared with older women. Waist-to-hip ratio and family history of breast cancer were more strongly associated with younger-onset disease, and breastfeeding appeared protective among younger women. Oral contraceptive use with associated with increased risk regardless of age. Based on these results, it may be possible to reduce breast cancer in young women by modifying waist-to-hip ratio, oral contraceptive use, and breastfeeding. link to online article
Bertrand KA, Gerlovin H, Bethea TN, Palmer JR. Pubertal growth and adult height in relation to breast cancer risk in African American women. Int J Cancer 2017;141(12):2462-70. doi: 10.1002/ijc.31019.
We assessed the contributions of height, the age at which maximum height is reached, and age at menarche (start of menstruation) to the risk of the major subtypes of breast cancer, estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) and estrogen receptor-negative (ER-). Height was associated with higher risk of ER+ cancer, and early age at attained height with and early age at menarche with increased risk of both ER+ and ER- cancer. These findings give clues as to how and when risk of breast cancer is established. link to online article
Bacon KL, Stuver SO, Cozier YC, Palmer JR, Rosenberg L, Ruiz-Narváez EA. Perceived racism and incident diabetes in the Black Women’s Health Study. Diabetologia 2017;60(11):2221-5. doi: 10.1007/s00125-017-4400-6.
BWHS participants have been asked questions about experience with interpersonal racism in daily life (everyday racism) and lifetime racism with respect to police, housing, and work. We assessed racism in relation to type 2 diabetes from 1995 through 2011 in the BWHS, during which time 5,344 women were diagnosed with diabetes. Both everyday and lifetime racism were associated with increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Increased weight associated with racism accounted for about half of the increase in risk. link to online article
Nichols HB, ..., Bertrand KA, ..., Palmer JR, et al. The Premenopausal Breast Cancer Collaboration: a pooling project of studies participating in the National Cancer Institute Cohort Consortium. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2017;26(9):1360-9. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-17-0246.
The incidence of advanced breast cancer among premenopausal women has increased in recent decades, although it is still relatively rare compared to incidence among postmenopausal women. In order to have a large enough sample size for informative study of premenopausal breast cancer, many studies must band together. The Premenopausal Breast Cancer Collaborative Group has just been formed with the purpose of studying specific subtypes of premenopausal breast cancer, and the BWHS will be a key contributor to this effort. link to online article
Jordan SJ, ..., Palmer JR, et al. Breastfeeding and endometrial cancer risk: an analysis from the Epidemiology of Endometrial Cancer Consortium. Obstet Gynecol 2017;129(6):1059-67. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000002057.
The association between breast feeding and risk of endometrial cancer was assessed in data from 17 studies participating in the Epidemiology of Endometrial Cancer Consortium. The analyses included 8,981 women with endometrial cancer and 17,241 women in a control group. Ever breastfeeding was associated with an 11% reduction in risk of endometrial cancer. Longer average duration of breastfeeding per child was associated with lower risk of endometrial cancer, although there appeared to be some leveling of this effect beyond 6-9 months. Our findings suggest that reducing endometrial cancer risk can be added to the list of maternal benefits associated with breastfeeding. link to online article
Feng Y, ..., Palmer JR, et al. Characterizing genetic susceptibility to breast cancer in women of African ancestry. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2017;26(7):1016-26. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-16-0567.
Genome-wide association studies have identified approximately 100 common genetic variants associated with breast cancer risk, mostly among white women. 74 breast cancer risk variants and genetic variants in associated regions were assessed in 6,522 breast cancer cases and 7,643 controls of African ancestry from three large consortial studies. We found confirmatory evidence for 73% of the 74 variants. Other variants in the regions that were better risk markers for breast cancer were also found. Thus, we have identified genetic variants that better characterize breast cancer risk in women of African ancestry. link to online article
Wang H,...Palmer JR, et al. Novel colon cancer susceptibility variants identified from a genome-wide association study in African Americans. Int J Cancer 2017;140(12):2728-33. doi:10.1002/ijc.30687.
In a collaborative study, genetic variants across the genome were assessed in relation to colorectal cancer in African Americans (AA). A novel genetic variant associated with risk in AAs was identified, as well as another variant that had a stronger association in AAs than in other ethnic groups. link to online article
Sponholtz TR, Palmer JR, Rosenberg L, Hatch EE, Adams-Campbell LL, Wise LA. Reproductive factors and incidence of endometrial cancer in U.S. black women. Cancer Causes Control 2017;28(6):579-88. doi: 10.1007/s10552-017-0880-4.
We studied the relation of reproductive factors to incidence of endometrial cancer in the BWHS, based on 300 women who were affected by the condition during 18 years of follow-up. Earlier age at start of menstruation was associated with higher risk and later age at first birth with lower risk. Women who had had children were at lower risk than those who had not had children. These results suggests that these factors have similar associations with endometrial cancer in black and white women. link to online article
Yao S, Hong CC, Bandera EV, Zhu Q, Liu S, Cheng TYD, Zirpoli G, Haddad SA, Lunetta KL, Ruiz-Narváez EA, McCann SE, Troester MA, Rosenberg L, Palmer JR, Olshan AF, Ambrosone CB. Demographic, lifestyle, and genetic determinants of circulating concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and vitamin D-binding protein in African American and European American women. Am J Clin Nutr 2017;105(6):1362-71. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.143248.
Vitamin D levels differ between African American (AA) and European Americans (EA), with many more AAs being vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D deficiency may be related to incidence of several illnesses. Levels of vitamin D (i.e., 25(OH)D) and of vitamin D-binding protein (VDBP) in AA and EA women were compared. AA women had lower levels of vitamin D but similar levels of VDBP as EA women. Demographic and lifestyle determinants of vitamin D were similar in the two populations, but genetic determinants may be ethnicity specific. link to online article
Haddad SA, Palmer JR, Lunetta KL, Ng MCY, the MEDIA Consortium, Ruiz-Narváez EA. A novel TCF7L2 type 2 diabetes SNP identified from fine mapping in African American women. PLoS ONE 2017;12(3):e0172577. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0172577.
In genetic studies, some genes in the Wnt pathway have been found to be associated with type 2 diabetes. Other genes in the pathway were assessed in a collaborative study of African Americans. A new variant that may represent a signal seen only in African ancestry populations was identified. The finding needs to be replicated. link to online article
Williams LA, Olshan AF, Hong CC, Bandera EV, Rosenberg L, Cheng TYD, Lunetta KL, McCann SE, Poole C, Kolonel LN, Palmer JR, Ambrosone CB, Troester MA. Alcohol intake and breast cancer risk in African American women from the AMBER Consortium. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2017;26(5):787-94. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-16-0792.
Numerous studies have linked heavy alcohol consumption to an increase in breast cancer incidence. In a study of data from the BWHS and three other studies of African American women, consumption of at least seven drinks per week was associated with a small increase in risk of breast cancer in the overall data. However, the results among the four studies were not consistent. link to online article
Heaton B, Gordon NB, Garcia RI, Rosenberg L, Rich S, Fox MP, Cozier YC. A clinical validation of self-reported periodontitis among participants in the Black Women’s Health Study. J Periodontol 2017;88(6):582-92. doi: 10.1902/jop.2017.160678.
Periodontitis (infections of the gums and bone) occur commonly. To study risk factors for periodontitis and effects of periodontitis on health requires adequate reporting of the condition. BWHS participants living in Massachusetts in the Boston metropolitan area were invited to participate in a study of the validity of reporting of dental conditions, which involved having a clinical examination by a dentist. A total of 77 BWHS participants were examined for periodontal disease, and their questionnaire responses about dental disease were compared with the clinical data. Accuracy of reporting was similar to that in other populations, and it was sufficient for studies of periodontitis in the BWHS based on self-report. link to online article
Charlot M, Castro-Webb N, Bethea TN, Bertrand K, Boggs DA, Denis GV, Adams-Campbell LL, Rosenberg L, Palmer JR. Diabetes and breast cancer mortality in black women. Cancer Causes Control 2017;28(1):61-7. doi: 10.1007/s10552-016-0837-z.
Both mortality from breast cancer and the occurrence of diabetes are higher in Black women than White women. We assessed whether diabetes may be contributing to mortality among breast cancer survivors in the BWHS. Based on over 1,600 participants who had been diagnosed with breast cancer, we found that breast cancer mortality was increased among those who had been diagnosed with diabetes at least 5 years before breast cancer occurrence. The increase was present for both estrogen rector positive and estrogen receptor negative breast cancer. The results suggest that diabetes contributes to breast cancer mortality among women with breast cancer. link to online article
Bethea TN, Palmer JR, Adams-Campbell LL, Rosenberg L. A prospective study of reproductive factors and exogenous hormone use in relation to ovarian cancer risk among black women. Cancer Causes Control 2017;28(5):385-91. doi: 10.1007/s10552-016-0840-4.
Extensive evidence in white women has linked oral contraceptive use, tubal ligation (tubes tied), and higher parity (greater number of children) with reduced risk of ovarian cancer. Results on supplemental female hormones used for the menopause are inconsistent. We studied these factors in the BWHS. The associations of oral contraceptive use, tubal ligation, and parity with ovarian cancer in the BWHS were similar to those in white women. The results suggested that use of female hormone supplements may be associated with increased risk, but more studies are needed to be certain. link to online article
Jerrett M, Brook RD, Burnett RT, White LF, Yu J, Su J, Seto E, Marshall J, Palmer JR, Rosenberg L, Coogan PF. Ambient ozone and incident diabetes: a prospective analysis in a large cohort of African American women. Environ Int 2017;102:42-7. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2016.12.011.
Ozone is a commonly occurring air pollutant. Because ozone can lead to insulin resistance, we studied the relation of ozone levels to incidence of type 2 diabetes in the BWHS. We found evidence of increases in diabetes risk associated with higher ozone levels. While other factors, such as obesity, have a much stronger relationship with diabetes, this first evidence on a possible association of ozone with the occurrence of diabetes supports the need for continuing research on potential adverse effects of air pollution. link to online article
Coogan PF, White LF, Yu J, Brook RD, Burnett RT, Marshall JD, Bethea TN, Rosenberg L, Jerrett M. Long-term exposure to NO2 and ozone and hypertension incidence in the Black Women’s Health Study. Am J Hypertens 2017;30(4):367-72. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpw168.
Air pollutants can increase blood pressure. We studied levels of traffic-related nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and of ozone in relation to the incidence of hypertension in the BWHS. Over a period of 16 years, 9,570 new cases of hypertension were identified. Higher ozone levels were associated with increased risk of hypertension, but higher NO2 levels were associated with decreased risk. link to online article
Murphy ME, ... Lunetta KL, Palmer JR, Ambrosone CB. A functionally significant SNP in TP53 and breast cancer risk in African American women. NPJ Breast Cancer 2017;3(5). doi: 10.1038/s41523-017-0007-9.
A polymorphism in the TP53 gene and has been shown to reduce tumor suppression in mice. To explore whether this polymorphism affects cancer risk in people of African descent, we analyzed genetic data from 6,907 women with breast cancer and 7,644 women without cancer from the AMBER, ROOT, and AABC consortia. We found no evidence of an association with breast cancer among all participants, but there was increased risk among premenopausal women. More studies of this genetic variant in human populations are needed. However, the frequency of this polymorphism is low in women of African ancestry, so its impact on the population level may be minimal. link to online article
Zhu Q, Shepherd L, Lunetta KL, Yao S, Liu Q, Hu Q, Haddad SA, Sucheston-Campbell L, Bensen JT, Bandera EV, Rosenberg L, Liu S, Haiman CA, Olshan AF, Palmer JR, Ambrosone CB. Trans-ethnic follow-up of breast cancer GWAS hits using the preferential linkage disequilibrium approach. Oncotarget 2017;7(50):83160-76. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.13075.
Genetic studies often identify multiple genetic variants associated with a particular outcome, and methods are need to help to identify real causal variants from among chance findings. A method called the preferential LD approach was tested in genetic data derived in four studies of breast cancer in African American women, including the BWHS. The results support the use of the preferential LD approach in African American women. link to online article
Chetwynd EM, Stuebe AM, Rosenberg L, Troester M, Rowley D, Palmer JR. Cumulative lactation and onset of hypertension in African American women. Am J Epidemiol 2017;186(8):927-34. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwx163.
Hypertension (high blood pressure) affects Black women more than other racial groups, and it increases the risk of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the U.S. In a study of breastfeeding and hypertension in the BWHS, we found that breastfeeding was associated with a reduced risk of hypertension at ages 40-49 years. Risk decreased as duration of breastfeeding increased. If confirmed, this adds to the list of reasons that it is good for the health of women (as well as their babies) for them to breastfeed. link to online article
Bertrand KA, Bethea TN, Adams-Campbell LL, Rosenberg L, Palmer JR. Differential patterns of risk factors for early-onset breast cancer by ER status in African American women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2017;26(2):270-7. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-16-0692.
Aggressive subtypes of breast cancer, such as estrogen receptor negative (ER-) tumors, lead to higher breast cancer mortality and occur more commonly among Black women than among White women. Risk factors for ER- breast cancer are poorly understood. We assessed reproductive risk factors and body size in relation to the incidence of ER- and ER+ breast cancer in the BWHS. Higher parity (number of births) and older age at first birth were associated with increased risk of ER- breast cancer among women less than 45 years of age; breastfeeding reduced the risk associated with higher parity. Abdominal obesity (obesity around the waist as opposed to around the hips) was also associated with higher risk of ER- breast cancer among women under age 45. None of these factors was associated with ER+ breast cancer at older ages or with ER+ breast cancer. These findings indicate that risk factors vary by age and by breast cancer subtype, and that differences in reproductive factors may contribute to Black/White differences in the occurrence of aggressive forms of breast cancer. link to online article
Jerrett M, Turner MC, Beckerman BS, Pope CA 3rd, van Donkelaar A, Martin RV, Serre M, Crouse D, Gapstur SM, Krewski D, Diver WR, Coogan PF, Thurston GD, Burnett RT. Comparing the health effects of ambient particulate matter estimated using ground-based versus remote sensing exposure estimates. Environ Health Perspect 2017;125(4):552-9. doi: 10.1289/EHP575.
Air pollution levels can be measured with remote sensing devices or using ground-based information. Both measures were associated with mortality in a large study of cancer, but the effect estimates were generally larger when the ground-based information was used. link to online article