Association of paternal age at birth and the risk of breast cancer in offspring: a case control studyReport as inadecuate

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BMC Cancer

, 5:143

First Online: 31 October 2005Received: 08 July 2005Accepted: 31 October 2005DOI: 10.1186-1471-2407-5-143

Cite this article as: Choi, JY., Lee, KM., Park, S.K. et al. BMC Cancer 2005 5: 143. doi:10.1186-1471-2407-5-143


BackgroundOlder paternal age may increase the germ cell mutation rate in the offspring. Maternal age may also mediate in utero exposure to pregnancy hormones in the offspring. To evaluate the association between paternal and maternal age at birth with the risk of breast cancer in female offspring, a case-control study was conducted in Korea.

MethodsHistologically confirmed breast cancer cases n = 1,011 and controls n = 1,011 with no present or previous history of cancer, matched on year of birth and menopausal status, were selected from several teaching hospitals and community in Seoul during 1995–2003. Information on paternal and maternal ages and other factors was collected by interviewed questionnaire. Odds ratio OR and 95% confidence interval 95% CI were estimated by unconditional logistic regression model adjusting for family history of breast cancer in 1 or 2 degree relatives, and lifetime estrogen exposure duration.

ResultsThe risk of breast cancer significantly increased as the paternal age increased p for trend = 0.025. The association was stronger after controlling for maternal age; women whose fathers were aged ≥40 years at their birth had 1.6-fold increased risk of breast cancer compared with fathers aged <30 years. This association was profound in breast cancer cases in premenopausal women OR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.12–3.26, for paternal aged ≥40 vs. <30 p for trend = 0.031. Although the risk of breast cancer increased as maternal age increased up to the intermediate, and then reduced; the risks in women whose mother were aged 25–29, 30–34, and ≥35 yrs at birth compared to women whose mothers were aged <25 years, were 1.2, 1.4, and 0.8, respectively, the trend was not significant p for trend = 0.998.

ConclusionThese findings suggest that older paternal age increases the risk of breast cancer in their female offspring.

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Author: Ji-Yeob Choi - Kyoung-Mu Lee - Sue Kyung Park - Dong-Young Noh - Sei-Hyun Ahn - Keun-Young Yoo - Daehee Kang


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