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    Research Grants Awarded

    A Comparison Of Hormone Levels And Dietary Habits Among African American And West African Women In Houston, Texas And West African Women In Ibadan, Nigeria

    Study Section:
    Population Specific

    Scientific Abstract:
    Background: Evidence suggests that endogenous estrogens and other hormones are risk factors for breast cancer. Intrauterine exposure to high levels of estrogens and other hormones during pregnancy might increase the risk of breast cancer among female offspring. Evidence supports dietary patterns as either protective or nonprotective for breast cancer thus a contributing risk factor for breast cancer. Objective/Hypothesis: There is a difference and correlation, mediated by culture and geographics, in both nutrient intake and mean serum hormone levels during and after pregnancy among African Americans (AA) in Houston, West Africans (WA) living in Houston, and WAs living in Ibadan, Nigeria. Specific Aims: To determine 1) mean serum levels of hormones (estrone, estradiol, free estradiol, and sex hormone-binding globulin) among pregnant AAs living in Houston, WAs living in Houston, and WAs living in Ibadan of low socioeconomic status; 2) to assess differences in mean serum levels of hormones among pregnant AA, WAs living in Houston, Texas, and WAs living in Ibadan of low socioeconomic status; 3) if there is a difference in nutrient intake among pregnant AAs living in Houston, WAs living in Houston, and WAs living in Ibadan; 4) if there is a correlation between nutrient intake and mean serum levels of hormones during pregnancy overall or among the different cultural/geographic groups; 5) if there is a correlation between nutrient intake and mean serum levels of hormones after pregnancy overall or among the different cultural/geographic groups. Study Design: We propose to conduct a cross-sectional study of a culturally different but racially and ethnically similar groups of pregnant women of low socioeconomic status in AAs and WAs living in Houston and WAs in Ibadan. Potential Outcome and Benefits of the Research: No study today has compared serum hormone levels such as estrone, estradiol, free estradiol, SHBG, alpha–fetoprotein between pregnant women of different cultural but similar racial ethnic groups at different risks of breast cancer. Neither has the relationship between serum hormone levels and dietary habits during pregnancy been investigated. The role of diet and hormonal status is of particular interest as an important piece in Western breast cancer research because as past migration studies have demonstrated, the international pattern of breast cancer changes following migration from low risk countries to high risk countries.

    Lay Abstract:
    Background: Breast cancer continues to be the most common malignancy among women in the United States and a signficant public health problem. Incidence rates are higher among white non-Hispanic and African American (AA) women and the lowest among Asian populations. Mortality rates from breast cancer are higher among AA women than that among white non-Hispanic women. This racial difference is particularly important among younger women. There are many possible physiologic, social, environmental, and nutritional differences between racial/ethnic groups which might contribute to the observed differences in breast cancer incidence and mortality. Hormone levels during pregnancy and dietary habits during pregnancy deserve further study as possible intrauterine influences on breast cancer risk in offspring. Objective/Hypothesis: There is a difference and correlation, mediated by culture and geographics, in both nutrient intake and mean serum hormone levels during and after pregnancy among AAs in Houston, West Africans (WA) living in Houston, and WAs living in Ibadan, Nigeria. Specfic Aim: Differences in hormone levels between the population groups and their relationship with dietary habits during pregnancy will be assessed. Study Design: We propose to conduct a cross-sectional study of culturally different but racially/ethnically similar groups of pregnant women of low socioeconomic status. AAs living in Houston, WAs living in Houston and WAs living in Ibadan, Nigeria pregnant women aged 16 to 35 years of age will be recruited and followed throughout their pregnancy and delivery. Serum hormones will be measured during the first trimester of pregnancy during their scheduled prenatal visits and at birth. Women will be interviewed to collect data on demographics characteristics and dietary and lifestyle practices. In addition, women’s prior medical history and health information during current pregnancy and health information of the infant at delivered (e.g., birthweight and gestational age) will be abstracted from medical records. Potential Outcomes and Benefits of the Research: This study will provide support to the intrauterine estrogen exposure hypothesis, and direction for future studies of hormone levels during pregnancy and risk of breast cancer and possible dietary interventions to reduce the risk of breast cancer in offspring.