DDE and DDT in breast adipose tissue and risk of female breast cancer

Tongzhang Zheng, Theodore R. Holford, Susan T. Mayne, Barbara Ward, Darryl Carter, Patricia H. Owens, Robert Dubrow, Shelia H. Zahm, Peter Boyle, Shannon Archibeque, John Tessari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A case-control study was conducted in Connecticut from 1994 to 1997 to investigate the relation between dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane (DDE) and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) exposure and breast cancer risk. Cases and controls were women aged 40-79 years, who had breast-related surgery at the Yale-New Haven Hospital and from whose surgical specimen the authors could obtain at least 0.4 g of breast adipose tissue for chemical analyses. A total of 304 incident breast cancer cases (including 62 in situ carcinomas) and 186 benign breast disease controls were recruited into the study. Tissue levels of DDE and DDT were measured using gas chromatography. Statistical significance for comparisons of mean levels of DDE and DDT was calculated using analysis of variance and rank sum tests. A logistic regression model was used to estimate the association and to control confounding. The age- adjusted geometric mean tissue level of DDE for cases (736.5 ppb) was similar to that for the controls (784.1 ppb). DDT levels were also similar for cases (51.8 ppb) and controls (55.6 ppb). The adjusted odds ratio is 0.9 (95% confidence interval: 0.5, 1.5) for DDE and 0.8 (95% confidence interval: 0.5, 1.5) for DDT when the highest quartile was compared with the lowest. These results do not support an association between adipose tissue levels of DDE and DDT and breast cancer risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-458
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast neoplasms
  • Case-control studies
  • DDE
  • DDT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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