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Prospective Study of Estrogen Replacement Therapy and Risk of Breast Cancer in Postmenopausal Women

Graham A. Colditz, MB, BS; Meir J. Stampfer, MD; Walter C. Willett, MD; Charles H. Hennekens, MD; Bernard Rosner, PhD; Frank E. Speizer, MD
JAMA. 1990;264(20):2648-2653. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450200056031.
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We prospectively examined the use of estrogen replacement therapy in relation to breast cancer incidence in a cohort of women 30 to 55 years of age in 1976. During 367 187 person-years of follow-up among postmenopausal women, 722 incident cases of breast cancer were documented. Overall, past users of replacement estrogen were not at increased risk (relative risk, 0.98; 95% confidence interval, 0.81 to 1.18), including even those with more than 10 years of use (relative risk after adjustment for established risk factors, 0.70; 95% confidence interval, 0.45 to 1.10). However, the risk of breast cancer was significantly elevated among current users (relative risk, 1.36; 95% confidence interval, 1.11 to 1.67). Among current users, a stronger relationship was observed with increasing age but not with increasing duration of use. These data suggest that long-term past use of estrogen replacement therapy is not related to risk of breast cancer but that current use may modestly increase risk.

(JAMA. 1990;264:2648-2653)


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