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The differences between breast cancer risk factors in white British/Irish and Asian women attending screening in the UK are not well documented.
Between 2009-15 ethnicity and traditional breast cancer risk factors were self-identified by a screening cohort from Greater Manchester, with follow up to 2016. Risk factors and incidence rates were compared using age-standardised statistics (European standard population).
Eight hundred and seventy-nine Asian women and 51,779 unaffected white British/Irish women aged 46-73 years were recruited. Asian women were at lower predicted breast cancer risk from hormonal and reproductive risk factors than white British/Irish women (mean 10 year risk 2.6% vs 3.1%, difference 0.4%, 95%CI 0.3-0.5%). White British/Irish women were more likely to have had a younger age at menarche, be overweight or obese, taller, used hormone replacement therapy and not to have had children.. However, despite being less overweight Asian women had gained more weight from age 20 years and were less likely to undertake moderate physical activity. Asian women also had a slightly higher mammographic density. Asian age-standardised incidence was 3.2 (95%CI 1.6-5.2, 18 cancers) per thousand women/year vs 4.5 (95%CI 4.2-4.8, 1076 cancers) for white British/Irish women.
Asian women attending screening in Greater Manchester are likely to have a lower risk of breast cancer than white British/Irish women, but they undertake less physical activity and have more adult weight gain.