Genetic ancestry is not associated with breast cancer recurrence or survival in U.S. latina women enrolled in the kaiser permanente pathways study

Natalie J. Engmann, Isaac J. Ergas, Song Yao, Marilyn L. Kwan, Janise M. Roh, Christine B. Ambrosone, Lawrence H. Kushi, Laura Fejerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Background: The U.S. Hispanic/Latino population is heterogeneous both socioculturally and by the proportion of European, Indigenous American, and African ancestry of the regions from which individuals originate. A previous study reported that genetic ancestry was associated with breast cancer survival among Latinas, independent of sociodemographic and tumor characteristics, suggesting that a genetic factor associated with ancestry may affect breast cancer survival. Methods: We evaluated the association of genetic ancestry with breast cancer outcomes among 506 Latina women with invasive breast cancer in the Pathways Study, a cohort study within Kaiser Permanente, an integrated health care delivery system. Proportional hazards models were used to assess the effect of ancestry on breast cancer recurrence (53 events), breast cancer-specific mortality (31 events) and all-cause mortality (54 events), with a mean follow-up time of 6 years. Results: Indigenous American ancestry was not associated with breast cancer recurrence [HR = 1.00 per 10% increase; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.86-1.16], breast cancer mortality (HR = 0.95; 95% CI, 0.77-1.17), or all-cause mortality (HR = 0.93; 95% CI, 0.80-1.08). Adjustment for sociodemographic variables, tumor characteristics, and treatment did not alter the associations. Conclusions: Our results suggest that previously reported differences in breast cancer survival by genetic ancestry may be overcome by improving health care access and/or quality. Impact: Improving health care access and quality may reduce breast cancer disparities among U.S. Latinas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1466-1469
Number of pages4
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology

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