Associations Between Personal Care Product Use Patterns and Breast Cancer Risk in the Sister Study Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Taylor, Kyla
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Epidemiology
  • Background: Among women in the United States, breast cancer is the second leading cancer-related cause of death. It is hypothesized that certain chemicals in personal care products may increase risk of breast cancer. The primary aims of this study were to use a data-centered approach to classify complex patterns of exposure to personal care products, understand how these patterns vary according breast cancer risk factors, and evaluate whether patterns of beauty, hair, or skin-related personal care products or individual products were associated with breast cancer. Methods: Limiting the sample to non-Hispanic blacks and whites (N=47,019), latent class analysis (LCA) was used to identify groups of individuals with similar patterns of personal care product use based on responses to survey questions. Personal care products were categorized into three product types (beauty, hair, and skincare products) and separate latent classes were constructed for each type. Adjusted prevalence differences (PD) were calculated to estimate the association between known and suspected breast cancer risk factors and patterns of personal care product use. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for the association between product use and breast cancer risk. Results: Latent class analysis (LCA) was used to reduce data dimensionality across 48 individual personal care product use questions and to identify groups of individuals with similar patterns of product use. Three latent classes were identified for both the beauty and hair product groups; the skincare product group had four classes. Among white women, those classified as ‘moderate’ and ‘frequent’ users of beauty products had increased risk of breast cancer relative to ‘infrequent users’ (HR=1.12; 95% CI: 1.00-1.27 and HR=1.15; 95% CI: 1.02-1.30). ‘Frequent’ users of skincare products also had increased risk of breast cancer relative to ‘infrequent users’ (HR=1.13; 95% CI: 1.00-1.29). Conclusions: Relative to individual product use questions, latent class variables capture complex patterns of personal care product usage. This work generates novel hypotheses for breast cancer risk.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Engel, Lawrence
  • Troester, Melissa
  • Baird, Donna
  • Herring, Amy
  • Nichols, Hazel
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2016

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