Background: Mammographic density (MD) has not been systematically investigated among Chinese women. Breast cancer screening programmes provided detailed information on MD in a large number of asymptomatic women. Methods: In the Multi-modality Independent Screening Trial (MIST), we estimated the association between MD and its influential factors using logistic regression, adjusting for age, body mass index (BMI) and study area. Differences between Chinese and other ethnic groups with respect to MD were also explored with adjustment for age and BMI. Results: A total of 28 388 women aged 45 to 65 years, who had been screened by mammography, were enrolled in the study. Of these, 49.2% were categorized as having dense breasts (BI-RADS density 3 and 4) and 50.8% as fatty breasts (BI-RADS density 1 and 2). Postmenopausal status [odds ratio (OR)=0.66; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.62-0.70] and higher number of live births (OR=0.56; 95% CI: 0.46-0.68) were inversely associated with MD, whereas prior benign breast disease (OR=1.48; 95% CI: 1.40-1.56) and later age at first birth (OR=1.17; 95% CI: 1.08-1.27) were positively associated with MD. In comparison with the data from the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium, we found that women in MIST were more likely to have fatty breasts than Americans (from the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium) in the older age group (>50 years) but more likely to have dense breasts in the younger age group (<50 years). Conclusions: This study suggests that several risk factors for breast cancer were associated with breast density in Chinese women. Information on the determinants of mammographic density may provide valuable insights into breast cancer aetiology.
- Breast density
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