Environmental toxins and breast cancer on Long Island. II. Organochlorine compound levels in blood

Marilie D. Gammon, Mary S. Wolff, Alfred I. Neugut, Sybil M. Eng, Susan L. Teitelbaum, Julie A. Britton, Mary Beth Terry, Bruce Levin, Steven D. Stellman, Geoffrey C. Kabat, Maureen Hatch, Ruby Senie, Gertrud Berkowitz, H. Leon Bradlow, Gail Garbowski, Carla Maffeo, Pat Montalvan, Margaret Kemeny, Marc Citron, Freya SchnabelAllan Schuss, Steven Hajdu, Vincent Vinceguerra, Nancy Niguidula, Karen Ireland, Regina M. Santella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

199 Scopus citations


Whether environmental contaminants increase breast cancer risk among women on Long Island, NY, is unknown. The study objective is to determine whether breast cancer risk is increased in relation to organochlorines, compounds with known estrogenic characteristics that were extensively used on Long Island and other areas of the United States. Recent reports do not support a strong association, although there are concerns with high risks observed in subgroups of women. Blood samples from 646 case and 429 control women from a population-based case-control study conducted on Long Island were analyzed. No substantial elevation in breast cancer risk was observed in relation to the highest quintile of lipid-adjusted serum levels of p, p'-bis(4-chlorophenyl)-1, 1-dichloroethene (DDE) [odds ratio (OR), 1.20 versus lowest quintile; 95% confidence interval (CT), 0.76-1.90], chlordane (OR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.62-1.55), dieldrin (OR, 1.37; 95% CI, 0.69-2.72), the sum of the four most frequently occurring PCB congeners (nos. 118, 153, 138, and 180; OR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.54-1.29), and other PCB congener groupings. No dose-response relations were apparent. Nor was risk increased in relation to organochlorines among women who had not breastfed or were overweight, postmenopausal, or long-term residents of Long Island; or with whether the case was diagnosed with invasive rather than in situ disease, or with a hormone receptor-positive tumor. These findings, based on the largest number of samples analyzed to date among primarily white women, do not support the hypothesis that organochlorines increase breast cancer risk among Long Island women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)686-697
Number of pages12
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2002


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