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Risk Factors for Human Breast Cancer (3f II): Premature Birth and Low Birth Weight

Stand / Letzte Aktualisierung durch Elisabeth Rieping 2004/07/27

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The risk of premarture birth was studied in detail for girls born in Stockholm, Sweden from 1925 to 1934. The authors found out what had happened
to this girls after birth:

Extremely premature children during this time period were treated in a uniform manner. They stayed at the maternity ward for about 24 hours, and
survivors were then transferred to a pediatric ward, where they were offered nutritional support.

The girls born before the 31st week had a 6.7 fold greater risk of breast cancer and 12.2 fold risk to develope breast cancer before 50 years of age
[i].

The risk of low birth weight sometimes observed in studies of this parameter may have the same reason.

What happens to infants with a low birth weight?

They often get a bottle to improve their nutritional intake. Especially if they are perceived to be to weak for breast feeding what is an active process
affording work of the baby the change to bottle feeding or aditional bottle feeding with milk based formulas is an alternative. Often the newborn
have to stay in the hospital until they have reached a certain minimal weight, while the mother can go home. In this cases, too, the mother is less
present for breast feeding and the chance for the infant to get cow’milk based formulas will be greater.

[i] Risk of Breast Cancer in Prematurely Born Women. Anders Ekbom, Gunnar Erlandsson, Chung-cheng Hsieh, Dimitrios Trichopoulos, Hans-
Olov Adami, Sven Cnattingius J Natl Cancer Inst. 2000 May 17;92(10):840-1

Permalink Archive Library of Congress: http://web.archive.org/web/20041108081530/www.erieping.de/3lowbir.htm