Saturday, October 01, 2005

More on Breast Cancer and Work

BrooklynDodger continues the series on breast cancer and work. A previous post found the protective effect of physical activity was most prominent in older women. This paper observes the effect to be more prominent in younger women. When risks were adjusted for social class, the protective effect of physical activity was attenuated. BrooklynDodger suspects this is because increased physical activity at work is associated with lower social class. All this defaults to the distribution of risk factors among the Finnish population.

Rintala, P. E.; Pukkala, E.; Paakkulainen, H. T., and Vihko, V. J.
Self-experienced physical workload and risk of breast cancer.
Scand J Work Environ Health. 2002 Jun; 28(3):158-62.

Occupational physical activity was estimated from a self-determined rating [scale 1 (low)-5 (high)] of occupational physical load for 1800 randomly selected women born in 1930-1969. …Occupation-specific numbers of observed and expected cases of breast cancer … were grouped according to the index for occupational physical activity. Expected rates were calculated with the social-class-specific population and the entire Finnish female population as reference populations. The relative risks (RR) of breast cancer for categories 3-5, in comparison with categories 1-2 were calculated … The RR was lower for occupations in category 5 than for those in categories 1-4, especially in the youngest (25-39 years) age group (RR 0.51…). …

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