Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

Early Oral Contraceptive Use and Breast Cancer: Theoretical Effects of Latency

Klim McPherson, P. A. Coope and M. P. Vessey
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (1979-)
Vol. 40, No. 4 (Dec., 1986), pp. 289-294
Published by: BMJ
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25566671
Page Count: 6
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Early Oral Contraceptive Use and Breast Cancer: Theoretical Effects of Latency
Preview not available

Abstract

Many cancers and other chronic diseases are associated with a long delay between exposure to a putative risk factor and subsequent diagnosis. This presents well recognised problems in the elucidation of suspected risk factors by epidemiological methods. In this paper we discuss the interpretation in epidemiological studies of the effect of a possible risk factor when population exposure is recent and rapidly changing. An important contemporary example concerns the study of early oral contraceptive (OC) use in relation to the subsequent risk of breast cancer. Computer simulations reported here indicate that plausible delays in the manifestation of any effect on breast cancer incidence make it difficult to exclude early OC use as a risk factor for breast cancer, even when large well conducted epidemiological studies show no apparent increased risk. Methods for detecting a 'latent' effect are discussed.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
289
    289
  • Thumbnail: Page 
290
    290
  • Thumbnail: Page 
291
    291
  • Thumbnail: Page 
292
    292
  • Thumbnail: Page 
293
    293
  • Thumbnail: Page 
294
    294