Age at menarche and menopause and breast cancer risk in the International BRCA1/2 Carrier Cohort Study

Jenny Chang-Claude, Nadine Andrieu, Matti Rookus, Richard Brohet, Antonis C. Antoniou, Susan Peock, Rosemarie Davidson, Louise Izatt, Trevor Cole, Catherine Noguès, Elisabeth Luporsi, Laetitia Huiart, Nicoline Hoogerbrugge, Flora E. Van Leeuwen, Ana Osorio, Jorunn Eyfjord, Paolo Radice, David E. Goldgar, Douglas F. Easton, Teresa WagnerVerena Korn, Anne Marie Gerdes, Edith Olah, Jorunn Eyford, Siranonoush Manoukian, Marco A. Pierotti, Javier Benitez, Trinidad Caldes, Miguel De La Hoya, Jan Lubinski, Brita Arver, H. Olsson, Niklas Loman, Jacques Simard, Catherine Sibille, Christi Van Asperen, Hanne Meijers-Heijboer, Senno Verhoef, Hans Vasen, Margreet Ausems, Fred Menko, Encarna Gomez-Garcia, Margaret Cook, Cassandra Engel, Neva Haites, Helen Gregory, Patrick Morrison, Carole McKeown, Alan Donaldson, Joan Paterson, Jonathan Gray, Peter Daly, David Barton, Mary Porteus, Michael Steel, Carole Brewer, Julia Rankin, Victoria Murday, Gabriella Pichert, Huw Dorkins, Richard Trembath, Tim Bishop, Carol Chu, Ian Ellis, Gareth Evans, Fiona Lalloo, Andrew Shenton, James Mackay, Anne Robinson, Susan Ritchie, Fiona Douglas, John Burn, Sarah Durell, Lucy Side, Ros Eeles, Jackie Cook, Oliver Quarrell, Shirley Hodgson, Diana Eccles, Anneke Lucassen, Emmanuelle Fourme, Rosette Lidereau, Denise Stevens, Dominique Stoppa-Lyonnet, Marion Gauthier-Villars, Agnès Chompret, Jean Pierre Fricker, Christine Lasset, Valérie Bonadona, Pascaline Berthet, Hagay Sobol, François Eisinger, Laurence Gladieff, Rosine Guimbaud, Alain Lortholary, Marc Frénay, Laurence Faivre, Michel Longy, Tan Dat Nguyen, Paul Gesta, Philippe Vennin, Claude Adenis, Annie Chevrier, Annick Rossi, Yves Jean Bignon, Jean Marc Limacher, Catherine Dugast, Liliane Demange, Hélène Zattara-Cannoni, Hélène Dreyfus, Mehrdad Noruzinia, Laurence Venat-Bouvet, Catherine Bonaïti, Claire Julian-Reynier, Florent De Vathaire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Early menarche and late menopause are important risk factors for breast cancer, but their effects on breast cancer risk in BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers are unknown. Methods: We assessed breast cancer risk in a large series of 1,187 BRCA1 and 414 BRCA2 carriers from the International BRCA1/2 Carrier Cohort Study. Rate ratios were estimated using a weighted Cox-regression approach. Results: Breast cancer risk was not significantly related to age at menopause {hazard ratio [HR] for menopause below age 35 years, 0.60 [95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.25-1.44]; 35 to 40 years, 1.15 [0.65-2.04]; 45 to 54 years, 1.02 [0.65-1.60]; ≥55 years, 1.12 [0.12-5.02], as compared with premenopausal women}. However, there was some suggestion of a reduction in risk after menopause in BRCA2 carriers. There was some evidence of a protective effect of oophorectomy (HR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.29-1.09) and a significant trend of decreasing risk with increasing time since oophorectomy, but no apparent effect of natural menopause. There was no association between age at menarche and breast cancer risk, nor any apparent association with the estimated total duration of breast mitotic activity. Conclusions: These results are consistent with other observations suggesting a protective effect of oophorectomy, similar in relative effect to that in the general population. The absence of an effect of age at natural menopause is, however, not consistent with findings in the general population and may reflect the different natural history of the disease in carriers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)740-746
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology


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