DESCRIPTION: (Applicant's Description) Exposure to organochlorine
pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) is pervasive due to
widespread use in the past and environmental persistence of these ubiquitous
lipophilic compounds. Recent epidemiologic studies suggest that exposure to
some of these chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides and PCBs, which mimic the
biologic effects of estrogens, increase the risk of breast cancer. The
primary aim of this study is to determine the feasibility of establishing a
substantial cohort of women with historical data on body-burden levels of
chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides and PCBs from the: (a) 1,436
participants of the First National Study to Determine Levels of Chlorinated
Hydrocarbon Insecticides and PCBs in Human Milk, conducted between 1974 and
1976; and (b) 1,842 participants of the second National Study to Determine
Levels of Chlorinated Hydrocarbon Insecticides and PCBs in Human Milk,
conducted between 1977 and 1983. Such a cohort would provide a unique
opportunity to more fully evaluate the effects of past exposure to
chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides--both individually and as a chemical
mixture--on the incidence of breast cancer; as well as to study the health
of offspring exposed to these compounds through lactation. In the first
phase of the feasibility study, 50% (1,640) of the 3,278 former study
participants will be randomly sampled, after stratification for demographic
variables, and traced for address location. Located subjects of this cohort
will be contacted by letter with telephone interview follow-up to determine
participation and to complete a questionnaire on current health status,
specifically regarding incidence of breast cancer. Data on the incidence of
breast cancer among the proposed cohort will be evaluated with respect to
historical levels of chlorinated hydrocarbon compounds in breast milk via
multiple Poisson regression analysis with adjustment for potential
confounders. Additionally, because the statistical analyses of the data
from each of the two national studies had been limited in scope due to the
nature of these biomonitoring studies, a specific aim of this research is to
thoroughly analyze the combined data from the two national studies with
particular attention to both the relationships among the residues of
organochlorine insecticides and PCBs and the relationships between these
residues and explanatory epidemiologic factors.
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