Yorkshire Menopause Group

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Low bone mineral density associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer
19 September 2001

Intriguing results from the US Fracture Intervention Trial (FIT), suggest that women in the lowest quartile for bone mineral density (BMD) have the lowest risk of breast cancer.

203 women aged 54 to 80 underwent DEXA scanning to measure total hip BMD. Linking the records of these subjects to tumour registries, 131 incident cases of breast cancer were identified. Compared with women in the lowest quartile for BMD, those in the second, third and fourth quartiles had relative risks of 1.9, 1.5 and 1.8 respectively.

Previous studies have shown an increased risk of breast cancer with increased BMD, but in this study the effect was not dose related. Whilst many different factors affect BMD, this study appears to suggest that women with low BMD have a reduced risk of breast cancer.

J Clin Epidemiol 2001;54:417-422.

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