Benign breast disease and changes in mammographic breast density

Reimers, Laura L.; Goldberg, Mandy; Tehranifar, Parisa; Michels, Karin B.; Cohn, Barbara A.; Flom, Julie D.; Wei, Ying; Cirillo, Piera; Terry, Mary B.

Mammographic breast density (MBD) and benign breast disease (BBD) are two of the strongest risk factors for breast cancer. Understanding trends in MBD by age and parity in women with BBD is essential to the clinical management and prevention of breast cancer.

Using data from the Early Determinants of Mammographic Density (EDMD) study, a prospective follow-up study of women born in 1959–1967, we evaluated MBD in 676 women. We used linear regression with generalized estimating equations to examine associations between self-reported BBD and MBD (percent density, dense area, and non-dense area), assessed through a computer-assisted method.

A prior BBD diagnosis (median age at diagnosis 32 years) was reported by 18% of our cohort. The median time from BBD diagnosis to first available study mammogram was 9.4 years (range 1.1–27.6 years). Women with BBD had a 3.44% higher percent MBD (standard error (SE) = 1.56, p-value = 0.03) on their first available mammogram than women without BBD. Compared with parous women without BBD, nulliparous women with BBD and women with a BBD diagnosis prior to first birth had 7–8% higher percent MBD (β = 7.25, SE = 2.43, p-value< 0.01 and β = 7.84, SE = 2.98, p-value = 0.01, respectively), while there was no difference in MBD in women with a BBD diagnosis after the first birth (β = −0.22, SE = 2.40, p-value = 0.93).

Women with self-reported BBD had higher mammographic breast density than women without BBD; the association was limited to women with BBD diagnosed before their first birth.


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Breast Cancer Research

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Published Here
August 10, 2022


Mammographic breast density, Benign breast disease, Breast cancer