4258.0: Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - Board 2

Abstract #10770

Are environmental exposures of interest for breast cancer risk linked to socioeconomic characteristics?

Nancy Irwin Maxwell, DSc1, Steven Melly, MS1, Ruth Polk, MS1, Thomas Mangione, PhD2, and Julia G. Brody, PhD1. (1) Silent Spring Institute, 29 Crafts Street, Newton, MA 02458, 617-332-4288, nmaxwell@silentspring.org, (2) Survey Research Group, JSI Research and Training Institute, Inc, 44 Farnsworth St, Boston, MA 02210

The Newton (Massachusetts) Breast Cancer Study was undertaken in response to community concerns about elevated incidence in this Boston suburb. We surveyed women in higher- and lower-incidence areas of Newton, seeking to identify factors that distinguished the two parts of the city. The survey included questions about known risk factors for breast cancer, environmental factors (whose status as risk factors is unknown), background and living situation, and breast cancer screening. This dataset affords the opportunity to study socioeconomic patterns in environmental exposures. Research has shown that women of higher socioeconomic status have higher breast cancer risk. Part of this socioeconomic effect may be due to well-known risk factors--for example, women with more education tend to have their first child later. In this study, we examined whether women with higher income and education might also share some environmental exposures--in particular, to everyday products that may contain endocrine-disrupting compounds or other chemicals of concern as possible risk factors for breast cancer. We assessed the association of socioeconomic characteristics with reported frequency of use of some common household and personal care products, including pesticides. This community study, in addition to addressing local concerns, offered insights into broader issues related to understanding breast cancer risk.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will understand observed patterns of product use across socioeconomic groups, and how this information enriches our understanding of breast cancer risk

Keywords: Breast Cancer, Social Class

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA