Parental age at birth and risk of breast cancer in daughters: a prospective study among US women

Graham A. Colditz, Walter C. Willett, Meir J. Stampfer, Charles H. Hennekens, Bernard Rosner, Frank E. Speizer

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29 Scopus citations


We examined the relation between parental age at birth and risk of breast cancer among daughters in a population of 118,309 US women who were 30 to 55 years of age in 1976 and without prior diagnosis of cancer. During 1,140,239 person-years of follow-up, we documented 1,799 incident cases of breast cancer in this population. After adjusting for established breast cancer risk factors, we observed only a weak and nonsignificant trend in risk of breast cancer with increasing maternal age at birth and no relation for paternal age. After adjusting for other risk factors, the chi trend was 1.10, P=0.27 for increasing maternal age at birth. Daughters born to mothers 30 to 34 years of age had an age-adjusted relative risk of breast cancer of 1.11 (95% confidence interval: 0.89, 1.37) compared to daughters born to mothers less than 20 years of age. The weak positive trend in risk with increasing maternal age was present among both pre-and postmenopausal women. These findings suggest that there is little or no association between maternal age and risk of breast cancer, and that paternal age is not related to risk of breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-36
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1991


  • Breast cancer
  • USA
  • maternal age
  • paternal age
  • prospective study


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