Adult Height, Insulin Levels and 17β-Estradiol in Young Women

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Adult Height, Insulin Levels and 17β-Estradiol in Young Women

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Title: Adult Height, Insulin Levels and 17β-Estradiol in Young Women
Author: Finstad, Sissi Espetvedt; Emaus, Aina; Tretli, Steinar; Jasienska, Grazyna; Ellison, Peter T.; Furberg, Anne-Sofie; Wist, Erik A.; Thune, Inger

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Citation: Finstad, Sissi Espetvedt, Aina Emaus, Steinar Tretli, Grazyna Jasienska, Peter T. Ellison, Anne-Sofie Furberg, Erik A. Wist, and Inger Thune. 2009. Adult height, insulin levels, and 17beta-estadiol in young women. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention 18(5): 1477-1483.
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Abstract: Background: Adult height and insulin levels have independently been associated with breast cancer risk. However, little is known about whether these factors influence estradiol levels. Thus, we hypothesize that adult height in combination with insulin levels may influence
premenopausal 17β-estradiol throughout the entire menstrual cycle of possible importance of breast cancer risk.
Methods: Among 204 healthy women, aged 25-35 years who participated in the Norwegian EBBA I study, birth weight and age at menarche were assessed by questionnaire, personal health record and interview. 17β-estradiol concentrations were estimated by daily saliva samples throughout one entire menstrual cycle using radioimmunoassay (RIA). Measures of height (cm) were taken as well as waist circumference (cm), body mass index (BMI kg/m2) and total fat percentage (DEXA % fat). Fasting blood samples were drawn, and serum concentrations of insulin were determined.
Results: The women reported a mean height of 166.5 cm, birth weight of 3389 g and age at menarche 13.1 years. Mean BMI was 24.4 kg/m2, mean waist circumference 79.5 cm and mean total fat percentage 34.1%. Women with an adult height of more than 170 cm and insulin levels higher than 90 pmol/L experienced on average an 37.2 % increase in 17β- estradiol during an entire menstrual cycle compared to those with the same height, and insulin levels below 90 pmol/L. Moreover, this was also observed throughout the entire menstrual cycle.
Conclusion: Our findings support that premenopausal levels of 17β-estradiol vary in response to adult height and insulin levels, suggesting that women who become taller are put at risk for higher estradiol levels when their insulin levels rise of possible importance for breast cancer risk.
Published Version: doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-08-0972
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