OA Epidemiology

The Attribution of Lifestyle Related Risk Factors in Middle Age on Breast Cancer Incidence in The Netherlands: Preliminary Results

Proceedings of the 2013 annual meeting of the Netherlands Epidemiology Society

Volume 1 Issue S1 Abstract 30


W.A.M. van Gemert, Julius Center, UMC Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands
S.G. Elias, Julius Center, UMC Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands
R.A. Bausch-Goldbohm, Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, Leiden, The Netherlands
P.A. van den Brandt, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, The Netherlands
H.G. Grooters, Prevention and Patient Support, Dutch Cancer Society, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
E. Kampman, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands
L.A.L.M. Kiemeney, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
F.E. van Leeuwen, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
E.M. Monninkhof, Julius Center, UMC Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands
E. De Vries, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
P.H.M. Peeters, Julius Center, UMC Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Several of the known risk factors for breast cancer are lifestyle related and modifiable. We estimated the fraction of postmenopausal breast cancer cases that is attributable to lifestyle factors as currently present in middle-aged Dutch women.

Population attributable fractions (PAFs) of five potentially modifiable risk factors for Dutch women aged 45-54 years were estimated. Risk factors included overweight and obesity, alcohol use, physical inactivity, current use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and oral contraceptives. We based relative risks on literature  search including meta-analyses. Current prevalence rates of the risk factors were derived from large Dutch registration databases and national surveys (2009-2011).

Of all 45-54 year old contemporary Dutch women, 46% are estimated to be physically inactive, 43% to be overweight or obese, 42% to drink alcohol, 1% to use HRT and 17% to use contraceptives. These risk factors jointly account for an estimated 20.2% of all future breast cancer cases in these women. Physical inactivity and alcohol use are responsible for the highest population attributable fraction (PAF of 7.0% and 6.8% respectively), followed by overweight and obesity (4.3%), oral contraceptive use (3.4%), and hormone replacement therapy (0.6%).

On a population level, lifestyle related factors play an important role in the development of postmenopausal breast cancer. Our findings imply that by currently modifying risk factors by middle-aged women, 1 out of every 5 future breast cancer cases could be prevented.

Published: 06 Jun, 2013

Licensee OA Publishing London 2013. Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY)