Long-Term Exposure to Ambient Air Pollution and Incidence of Postmenopausal Breast Cancer in 15 European Cohorts within the ESCAPE Project

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Zorana J. Andersen, Massimo Stafoggia, Gudrun Weinmayr, Marie Pedersen, Claudia Galassi, Jeanette T. Jørgensen, Anna Oudin, Bertil Forsberg, David Olsson, Bente Oftedal, Gunn Marit Aasvang, Geir Aamodt, Andrei Pyko, Göran Pershagen, Michal Korek, Ulf De Faire, Nancy L Pedersen, Claes-Göran Östenson, Laura Fratiglioni, Kirsten T. Eriksen & 32 more Anne Tjønneland, Petra H Peeters, Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita, Michelle Plusquin, Timothy J Key, Andrea Jaensch, Gabriele Nagel, Alois Lang, Meng Wang, Ming-Yi Tsai, Agnes Fournier, Marie-Christine Boutron-Ruault, Laura Baglietto, Sara Grioni, Alessandro Marcon, Vittorio Krogh, Fulvio Ricceri, Carlotta Sacerdote, Enrica Migliore, Ibon Tamayo-Uria, Pilar Amiano, Miren Dorronsoro, Roel Vermeulen, Ranjeet Sokhi, Menno Keuken, Kees de Hoogh, Rob Beelen, Paolo Vineis, Giulia Cesaroni, Bert Brunekreef, Gerard Hoek, Ole Raaschou-Nielsen

BACKGROUND: Epidemiological evidence on the association between ambient air pollution and breast cancer risk is inconsistent.

OBJECTIVE: We examined the association between long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and incidence of postmenopausal breast cancer in European women.

METHODS: In 15 cohorts from nine European countries, individual estimates of air pollution levels at the residence were estimated by standardized land-use regression models developed within the European Study of Cohorts for Air Pollution Effects (ESCAPE) and Transport related Air Pollution and Health impacts – Integrated Methodologies for Assessing Particulate Matter (TRANSPHORM) projects: particulate matter (PM) ≤2.5μm, ≤10μm, and 2.5–10μm in diameter (PM2.5, PM10, and PMcoarse, respectively); PM2.5 absorbance; nitrogen oxides (NO2 and NOx); traffic intensity; and elemental composition of PM. We estimated cohort-specific associations between breast cancer and air pollutants using Cox regression models, adjusting for major lifestyle risk factors, and pooled cohort-specific estimates using random-effects meta-analyses.

RESULTS: Of 74,750 postmenopausal women included in the study, 3,612 developed breast cancer during 991,353 person-years of follow-up. We found positive and statistically insignificant associations between breast cancer and PM2.5 {hazard ratio (HR)=1.08 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.77, 1.51] per 5 μg/m(3)}, PM10 [1.07 (95% CI: 0.89, 1.30) per 10 μg/m(3)], PMcoarse[1.20 (95% CI: 0.96, 1.49 per 5 μg/m(3)], and NO(2) [1.02 (95% CI: 0.98, 1.07 per 10 μg/m(3)], and a statistically significant association with NOx [1.04 (95% CI: 1.00, 1.08) per 20 μg/m(3), p=0.04].

CONCLUSIONS: We found suggestive evidence of an association between ambient air pollution and incidence of postmenopausal breast cancer in European women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107005
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Volume125
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
ISSN0091-6765
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2017

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

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