Cohen SS, Park Y, Signorello LB, Patel AV, Boggs DA, Kolonel LN, Kitahara CM, Knutsen SF, Gillanders E, Monroe KR, Berrington de Gonzalez A, Bethea TN, Black A, Fraser G, Gapstur S, Hartge P, Matthews CE, Park SY, Purdue MP, Singh P, Harvey C, Blot WJ, Palmer, JR. A pooled analysis of body mass index and mortality among African Americans. PLoS ONE 2014;9(11):e111980. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111980.
This study combined BWHS data with data from six other studies to assess the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and death by any cause (all-cause mortality). Among African American men and women, obesity (defined as a BMI of at least 30 30) was associated with a higher risk of all-cause mortality. The relationship with obesity was strongest among for death from cardiovascular disease. This study demonstrates the importance of personal and public health policy efforts that help individuals attain and maintain a healthy weight. link to online article
Rosenberg L, Palmer JR, Bethea TN, Ban Y, Kipping-Ruane K, Adams-Campbell LL. A prospective study of physical activity and breast cancer incidence in African American women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2014;23(11):2522-31. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-14-0448.
Physical activity has been associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer, but the relationship needs confirmation in African American populations. In the BWHS, higher levels of vigorous exercise and brisk walking were related to decreased risk of breast cancer. link to online article
Bethea TN, Kitahara CM, Sonderman J, Patel AV, Harvey C, Knutsen SF, Park Y, Park SY, Fraser GE, Jacobs EJ, Purdue MP, Stolzenberg-Solomon RZ, Gillanders EM, Blot WJ, Palmer JR, Kolonel LN. A pooled analysis of body mass index and pancreatic cancer mortality in African Americans. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers Prev 2014;23(10):2119-25. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-14-0422.
African Americans are more likely to be diagnosed with and die from pancreatic cancer than other Americans. Data from 7 studies, including the BWHS, was used to assess the possible relationship between obesity and death from pancreatic cancer among African American women and men. Obesity was related to increased mortality from pancreatic cancer, particularly among people who had never smoked. Reducing obesity may reduce pancreatic cancer mortality. link to online article
Palmer JR, Viscidi E, Troester MA, Hong C, Schedin P, Bethea TN, Bandera EV, McKinnon C, Haiman CA, Lunetta K, Kolonel LN, Rosenberg L, Olshan AF, Ambrosone CB. Parity, lactation, and breast cancer subtypes in African American women: results from the AMBER Consortium. J Natl Cancer Inst 2014;106(10):dju237. doi: 10.1093/jnci/dju237.
Estrogen negative (ER-) breast cancer is an aggressive form of breast cancer that occur more commonly among African American women. In an analysis of data from four studies, including the BWHS, women who had at least one birth were at increased risk of ER- and triple-negative breast cancer, but the increase was reduced if they had breast fed. ER+ breast cancer, another subtype, was not related to parity or lactation. These results suggest that breastfeeding could reduce the risk of ER- breast cancer in African American women. link to online article
James-Todd TM, Boggs DA, Rich-Edwards JW, Rosenberg L, Wise LA, Palmer JR. Preterm birth and subsequent risk of type 2 diabetes in Black mothers. Epidemiology 2014;25(6):805-10. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000000167.
In this BWHS study, the relationship between preterm birth and risk of type 2 diabetes was examined. Women who had a preterm birth (a baby born before the 37th week of pregnancy) were 20% more likely to report developing type 2 diabetes, and those who had a very premature birth (before_ the 32nd week of pregnancy) had an even higher risk. These results suggest that efforts to reduce preterm births could also reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes among Black women. link to online article
Feng Y, …, Palmer JR, et al. A comprehensive examination of breast cancer risk loci in African American women. Hum Mol Genet 2014;23(20):5518-26. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddu252.
Genetic studies of European populations have identified 73 genetic variants related to breast cancer risk, but genetic structures differ somewhat by ethnic group and these variants may not have the same relation to breast cancer risk among women of African ancestry. Among 54 variants examined in the present study, which included BWHS data, 38 that were associated with breast cancer, and several previously unidentified variants were also associated with risk. Additional research is needed to confirm and extend these findings. link to online article
Ruiz-Narváez EA, Palmer JR, Gerlovin H, Wise LA, Vimalananda VG, Rosenzweig JL, Rosenberg L. Birth weight and risk of type 2 diabetes in the Black Women’s Health Study: does adult body mass index play a mediating role? Diabetes Care 2014;37(9):2572-8. doi: 10.2337/dc14-0731.
The occurrence of type 2 diabetes is higher among African Americans than among white Americans. This BWHS study examined whether a woman’s birthweight was associated with her risk of diabetes in adulthood. Compared to women who had a normal birthweight (5lb 8oz-8lb13oz), risk of type 2 diabetes was 40% higher among women with very low birthweight (less than 3lb 5oz) and 13% higher risk among women with low birthweight (3lb5oz-5lb8oz). The increase in diabetes risk was not explained by adult body size. These results suggest that having been born prematurely may contribute to a woman’s risk of developing diabetes in adulthood. link to online article
Wise LA, Ruiz-Narváez EA, Haddad SA, Rosenberg L, Palmer JR. Polymorphisms in vitamin D-related genes and risk of uterine leiomyomata. Fertil Steril 2014;102(2):503-10.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2014.04.037.
Recent studies have suggested an association between uterine leiomyomata (uterine fibroids) and vitamin D deficiency (which is related to vitamin D intake, sun exposure, and skin pigmentation). Specific genetic variants involved in vitamin D metabolism and skin pigmentation were assessed in relation to uterine leiomyomata in the BWHS. Several genetic variants occurred more commonly among women with fibroids than among women without fibroids, supporting the idea of an association between vitamin D metabolism and uterine leiomyomata. Further study of this possible association is needed. link to online article
Vimalananda VG, Palmer JR, Gerlovin H, Wise LA, Rosenzweig JL, Rosenberg L, Ruiz-Narváez EA. Depressive symptoms, antidepressant use, and the incidence of diabetes in the Black Women’s Health Study. Diabetes Care 2014;37(8):2211-7. doi: 10.2337/dc13-2642.
This BWHS study assessed whether depressive symptoms and use of antidepressant medications are related to development of type 2 diabetes in the BWHS. Based on questions that participants completed in 1999 on depressive symptoms and 3,372 new cases of diabetes that occurred during the next 12 years, depressive symptoms and antidepressant medication use were found to be associated with a higher risk of diabetes. link to online article
Wise LA, Radin RG, Kumanyika S, Ruiz-Narvaez EA, Pamer JR, Rosenberg L. Prospective study of dietary fat and risk of uterine leiomyomata. Am J Clin Nutr 2014;99(5):1105-16. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.073635.
High intake of dietary fat has been associated with higher levels of female hormones, and thus has the possibility of affecting the occurrence of uterine fibroids. In our large study within the BWHS, the only consistent association was a small increase in risk associated with intake of marine fatty acids. This finding needs to be confirmed in other studies. link to online article
Boggs DA, Palmer JR, Rosenberg L. Bilateral oophorectomy and risk of cancer in African American women. Cancer Causes Control 2014;25(4):507-13. doi: 10.1007/s10552-014-0353-y.
Previous research suggests that bilateral oophorectomy (removal of the both ovaries) at younger ages may reduce risk of breast cancer, with some suggestion that the removal increases the risk of lung and colorectal cancer. In this BWHS study, bilateral oophorectomy, regardless of age at removal, was associated with a decreased risk of estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer but not with risk of estrogen receptor negative breast cancer. Results on risk of colorectal or lung cancer, based on small numbers, suggested a possible increase in risk. Having a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) without removal of the ovaries did not affect risk of breast, lung, or colorectal cancer.link to online article
Cozier YC, Yu J, Coogan PF, Bethea TN, Rosenberg L, Palmer JR. Racism, segregation, and risk of obesity in the Black Women's Health Study. Am J Epidemiol 2014;179(7):875-83. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwu004.
Experiences of racism are stressors that might result in increased obesity, for example through changes in eating or exercise habits. In the BWHS, the occurrence of obesity was greater among women who had the greatest experiences of racism. This was the case whether women lived in segregated or nonsegregated neighborhoods. link to online article
Coogan PF, Yu J, O'Connor GT, Brown TA, Palmer JR, Rosenberg L. Depressive symptoms and the incidence of adult-onset asthma in African American women. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2014;112(4):333-8. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2013.12.025.
Some evidence suggests that depression could lead to increased incidence of asthma. In this first study of that hypothesis in African American women, the incidence was greatest among women who had the most symptoms of depression. Confirmation of this finding in further studies is needed. link to online article
Ruiz-Narvaez, EA. Redundant enhancers and causal variants in the TCG7LC gene. Eur J Hum Genet 2014;22(11):1243-6. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2014.17.
The author suggests some possible reasons to explain the fact that genetic variants discovered to date appear to explain very little of the occurrence of various illnesses. link to online article
Palmer JR, Amrosone CG, Olshan AF. A collaborative study of the etiology of breast cancer subtypes in African American women: the AMBER Consortium. Cancer Causes Control 2014;25(3):309-19. doi: 10.1007/s10552-013-0332-8
Black women are more likely than other women to be affected by an aggressive form of breast cancer called estrogen receptor negative (ER-), which contributes to higher breast cancer mortality rates among Black women compared to other American women. The risk factors for ER- cancer are poorly understood and informative assessments require large numbers of women with this subtype. The BWHS has joined with three other large studies of breast cancer in Black women in a collaborative study, the AMBER consortium, to assess nongenetic and genetic risk factors for ER- and other breast cancer subtypes in Black women. link to online article
Dash C, Palmer JR, Boggs DA, Rosenberg L, Adams-Campbell LL. Type 2 diabetes and the risk of colorectal adenomas: Black Women's Health Study. Am J Epidemiol 2014;179(1):112-9. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwt227.
Results from studies of type 2 diabetes in relation to the incidence of tumors of the colon and rectum have been contradictory. We assessed type 2 diabetes in relation to the occurrence of colorectal adenomas in the BWHS. Adenomas are precursors to colorectal cancer. There was no overall association of diabetes with colorectal adenoma occurrence. link to online article
Coogan PF, Yu J, O’Connor GT, Brown TA, Cozier YC, Palmer JR, Rosenberg L. Experiences of racism and the incidence of adult-onset asthma. Chest 2014;145(3):480-5. doi: 10.1378/chest.13-0665.
In the BWHS, more than 1000 women have reported the development of asthma. We found that the incidence of asthma was increased among women who reported hight levels of experiences of racism. It may be that chronic stress resulting from experiences of racism increases the incidence of adult-onset asthma through effects on the immune system and the airways. link to online article