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A family history of breast cancer (FHBC) is positively associated with mammographic breast density in premenopausal women, according to a study published online Feb. 17 in JAMA Network Open.
Yunan Han, M.D., from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues examined the association of FHBC and mammographic breast density in premenopausal women. The analysis included a discovery set of 375 premenopausal women and a validation set of 14,040 premenopausal women.
The researchers found that discovery set participants who had FHBC were more likely to have a higher mean volumetric percent density versus participants with no FHBC (11.1 versus 9.0 percent).
In an adjusted analysis, volumetric percent density was higher in women with FHBC compared with women without FHBC (odds ratio [OR], 1.25; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.12 to 1.41) and in women who had one affected relative (OR, 1.24; 95 percent CI, 1.10 to 1.40).
However, volumetric percent density was not significantly higher in women who had at least two affected relatives (OR, 1.40; 95 percent CI, 0.95 to 2.07) versus women with no relatives affected.
In the validation set, findings were similar, with women with a positive FHBC more likely to have dense breasts (BI-RADS 3-4: OR, 1.30; 95 percent CI, 1.17 to 1.45) versus women without FHBC; the odds of having dense breasts were also higher in women with one affected relative (OR, 1.29; 95 percent CI, 1.14 to 1.45) but not significantly higher in women with at least two affected relatives (OR, 1.38; 95 percent CI, 0.85 to 2.23) versus women with no relatives affected.
“The findings highlight the heritable component of mammographic breast density and underscore the need to begin annual screening early in premenopausal women with a family history of breast cancer,” the authors write.