Risk of female breast cancer associated with serum polychlorinated biphenyls and 1,1-dichloro-2,2'-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene

Tongzhang Zheng, Theodore R. Holford, Susan Taylor Mayne, John Tessari, Barbara Ward, Darryl Carter, Patricia Hansen Owens, Peter Boyle, Robert Dubrow, Shannon Archibeque-Engle, Omar Dawood, Shelia Hoar Zahm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


This case-control study was designed to investigate the relationship between polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and 1,1-dichloro-2,2'-bis(p- chlorophenyl)ethylene (DDE) and breast cancer risk in Connecticut. Cases were incident breast cancer patients who were either residents of Tolland County or who had a breast-related surgery at the Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven County. Controls were randomly selected from Tolland County residents or from patients who had newly diagnosed benign breast disease or normal tissue at Yale-New Haven Hospital. A total of 475 cases and 502 controls had their serum samples analyzed for PCBs and DDE in 1995-1997. The age- and lipid-adjusted geometric mean serum level of DDE was comparable between the cases (460.1 ppb) and controls (456.2 ppb). The geometric mean serum level of PCBs was also comparable between cases (733.1 ppb) and controls (747.6 ppb). After adjustment for confounding factors, odds ratios of 0.96 (95% confidence interval, 0.67-1.36) for DDE and 0.95 (95% confidence interval, 0.68-1.32) for PCBS were observed when the third tertile was compared with the lowest. Further stratification by parity, lactation, and menopausal and estrogen receptor status also showed no significant association with serum levels of DDE or PCBs. The results by PCB congener groups also showed no major increased risk associated with any of the congener groups. Our study does not support the hypothesis that DDE and PCBS, as encountered through environmental espouser, increase the risk of the female breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-174
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology


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