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
Ochs-Balcom HM, Shaw H, Preus L, Palmer JR, Haddad SA, Rosenberg L, Ruiz-Narváez EA. Admixture mapping and fine-mapping of birth weight loci in the Black Women's Health Study. Hum Genet 2018;137(6-7):535-42. doi: 10.1007/s00439-018-1908-x.
Studies of European ancestry populations have identified genetic variants associated with birthweight. However, the prevalence of low birth weight is greater among African Americans and studies of genetic variants associated with low birthweight in this population are needed. The present study identified genetic markers associated with birthweight in the BWHS. High African ancestry was associated with low birth weight as were multiple novel independent birth-weight associated genetic variants. This study suggests that birth weight-associated genetic variants contribute to race-associated birth weight disparities. 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
Nomura SJO, Dash C, Rosenberg L, Palmer JR, Adams-Campbell LL. Fruit and vegetable intake and lung cancer incidence among Black women according to cigarette smoking status. Nutr Cancer 2018;70(6):904-12. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2018.1491608.
This study examined the associations of fruit and vegetable intake and cigarette smoking with risk of lung cancer in the BWHS. Smoking was associated with a large increase in lung cancer incidence. Fruit and vegetable consumption was not associated with risk of lung cancer regardless of smoking history. 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