• 1 Centre for Epidemiology and Screening, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2 Department of Epidemiology, Lazio Regional Health Service, Local Health Unit Azienda Sanitaria Locale Roma 1 (ASL RM1), Rome, Italy
  • 3 Institute of Epidemiology and Medical Biometry, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany
  • 4 Unit of Cancer Epidemiology, Città della Salute e della Scienza University-Hospital and Center for Cancer Prevention (CPO), Turin, Italy
  • 5 Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
  • 6 Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway
  • 7 Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 8 Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 9 Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 10 Aging Research Center, Department of Neurobiology Care Science and Society, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 11 The Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 12 Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 13 MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College, London, UK
  • 14 Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  • 15 Vorarlberg Cancer Registry, Agency for Preventive and Social Medicine (aks, Bregenz, Austria
  • 16 Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  • 17 Centre de recherche en Épidémiologie et Santé des Populations (CESP) "Health across Generations", Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (Inserm), Université Paris-Saclay, Villejuif, France
  • 18 Epidemiology and Prevention Unit, Department of Preventive and Predictive Medicine, Fondazione Istituto di ricovero e cura a carattere scientifico (IRCCS) Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy
  • 19 Unit of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Department of Diagnostics and Public Health, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
  • 20 ISGlobal Institute de Salut Global Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  • 21 Consortium for Biomedical Research in Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBER en Epidemiología y Salud Pública-CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain
  • 22 Centre for Atmospheric and Instrumentation Research, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK
  • 23 Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 24 Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel, Switzerland
  • 25 Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
Environ. Health Perspect., 2017 10 13;125(10):107005.
PMID: 29033383 DOI: 10.1289/EHP1742


BACKGROUND: Epidemiological evidence on the association between ambient air pollution and breast cancer risk is inconsistent.

OBJECTIVE: We examined the association between long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and incidence of postmenopausal breast cancer in European women.

METHODS: In 15 cohorts from nine European countries, individual estimates of air pollution levels at the residence were estimated by standardized land-use regression models developed within the European Study of Cohorts for Air Pollution Effects (ESCAPE) and Transport related Air Pollution and Health impacts – Integrated Methodologies for Assessing Particulate Matter (TRANSPHORM) projects: particulate matter (PM) ≤2.5μm, ≤10μm, and 2.5–10μm in diameter (PM2.5, PM10, and PMcoarse, respectively); PM2.5 absorbance; nitrogen oxides (NO2 and NOx); traffic intensity; and elemental composition of PM. We estimated cohort-specific associations between breast cancer and air pollutants using Cox regression models, adjusting for major lifestyle risk factors, and pooled cohort-specific estimates using random-effects meta-analyses.

RESULTS: Of 74,750 postmenopausal women included in the study, 3,612 developed breast cancer during 991,353 person-years of follow-up. We found positive and statistically insignificant associations between breast cancer and PM2.5 {hazard ratio (HR)=1.08 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.77, 1.51] per 5 μg/m3}, PM10 [1.07 (95% CI: 0.89, 1.30) per 10 μg/m3], PMcoarse[1.20 (95% CI: 0.96, 1.49 per 5 μg/m3], and NO2 [1.02 (95% CI: 0.98, 1.07 per 10 μg/m3], and a statistically significant association with NOx [1.04 (95% CI: 1.00, 1.08) per 20 μg/m3, p=0.04].

CONCLUSIONS: We found suggestive evidence of an association between ambient air pollution and incidence of postmenopausal breast cancer in European women.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.