Racial variation in umbilical cord blood sex steroid hormones and the insulin-like growth factor axis in African-American and white female neonates

Tanya Agurs-Collins, Sabine Rohrmann, Catherine Sutcliffe, Jessica L. Bienstock, Deborah Monsegue, Folasade Akereyeni, Gary Bradwin, Nader Rifai, Michael N. Pollak, Elizabeth A. Platz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: To evaluate whether there is racial variation in venous umbilical cord blood concentrations of sex steroid hormones and the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) axis between female African-American and white neonates. Methods: Maternal and birth characteristics and venous umbilical cord blood samples were collected from 77 African-American and 41 white full-term uncomplicated births at two urban hospitals in 2004 and 2005. Cord blood was measured for testosterone, dehydroespiandrosterone-sulfate, estradiol, and sex steroid hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) by immunoassay. IGF-1, IGF-2, and IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) were measured by ELISA. Crude and multivariable-adjusted geometric mean concentrations were computed for the hormones. Results: African-American neonates weighed less at birth (3,228 g vs. 3,424 g, p < 0.004) than whites. Birth weight was positively correlated with IGF-1, IGFBP-3, and the molar ratio of IGF-1 to IGFBP-3, but inversely correlated with the molar ratio of IGF-2 to IGFBP-3. Adjusted models showed higher testosterone (1.82 ng/ml vs. 1.47 ng/ml, p = 0.006) and the molar ratio of testosterone to SHBG (0.42 vs. 0.30, p = 0.03) in African-American compared to white female neonates. IGF-1, IGF-2, and IGFBP-3 were lower in African-American compared to white female neonates, but only the difference for IGF-2 remained significant (496.5 ng/ml vs. 539.2 ng/ml, p = 0.04). Conclusion: We provide evidence of racial variation in cord blood testosterone and testosterone to SHBG in African- American compared to white female neonates, and higher IGF-2 in white compared to African-American female neonates. Findings suggest plausible explanations for a prenatal influence on subsequent breast cancer risk and mortality. Further work is needed to confirm these observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-454
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2012

Keywords

  • African-American
  • IGF axis
  • Sex steroid hormones
  • Umbilical cord blood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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