IGF-I and mammographic density in four geographic locations: A pooled analysis

Gertraud Maskarinec, Yumie Takata, Zhao Chen, Inger Torhild Gram, Chisato Nagata, Ian Pagano, Kentaro Hayashi, Leslie Arendell, Guri Skeie, Sabina Rinaldi, Rudolph Kaaks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) and prolactin have been found to be associated with breast cancer risk and with mammographic density. In a pooled analysis from 4 geographic locations, we investigated the association of percent mammographic density with serum levels of IGF-I, IGFBP-3 and prolactin. The pooled data set included 1,327 pre- and postmenopausal women: Caucasians from Norway, Arizona and Hawaii, Japanese from Hawaii and Japan, Latina from Arizona, and Native Hawaiians from Hawaii. Serum samples were assayed for IGF-I, IGFBP-3 and prolactin levels using ELISA assays. Mammographic density was quantified using a computer-assisted density method. After stratification by menopausal status, multiple regression models estimated the relation between serum analytes and breast density. All serum analytes except prolactin among postmenopausal women differed significantly by location/ethnicity group. Among premenopausal subjects, IGF-I levels and the molar ratio were highest in Hawaii, intermediate in Japan and lowest in Arizona. For IGFBP-3, the order was reversed. Among postmenopausal subjects, Norwegian women had the highest IGF-I levels and women in Arizona had the lowest while women in Japan and Hawaii had intermediate levels. We observed no significant relation between percent density and IGF-I or prolactin levels among pre-and postmenopausal women. The significant differences in IGF-I levels by location but not ethnicity suggest that environmental factors influence IGF-I levels, whereas percent breast density varies more according to ethnic background than by location. Based on this analysis, the influence of circulating levels of IGF-I, IGFBP-3, and prolactin on percent density appears to be very small.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1786-1792
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 15 2007


  • Breast cancer
  • Breast density
  • Ethnicity
  • IGFs
  • Prolactin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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