Authors: Troisi R, Potischman N, Johnson CN, Roberts JM, Lykins D, Harger G, Markovic N, Siiteri P, Hoover RN
Title: Estrogen and androgen concentrations are not lower in the umbilical cord serum of pre-eclamptic pregnancies.
Journal: Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 12(11 Pt 1):1268-70
Date: 2003 Nov
Abstract: Reductions in breast cancer risk observed in daughters of pre-eclamptic pregnancies are hypothesized to be mediated by lower in utero estrogen concentrations. Whereas maternal urinary estriol excretion is generally lower in pre-eclamptic women, results for maternal blood concentrations are equivocal, and little is known about estrogen concentrations in the cord of pre-eclamptic pregnancies. Unconjugated estrogen and androgen concentrations were measured in mixed umbilical cord sera from 86 pre-eclamptic and 86 uncomplicated, singleton pregnancies, matched on length of gestation, maternal age, parity, and type of delivery. Pre-eclamptic and uncomplicated pregnancies were similar in maternal age, prepregnancy weight, maternal height, type of delivery, use and type of anesthesia, and sex of offspring. Estriol, estradiol, estrone, dehydroepiandrosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate, androstenedione, and testosterone concentrations measured in cord sera were not significantly different in pre-eclamptics compared with uncomplicated pregnancies. Estriol was 9% lower (P = 0.43), and all of the other hormones were actually higher in pre-eclamptics with testosterone and estradiol approaching statistical significance (P = 0.06 and P = 0.12, respectively). These data do not support the hypothesis that the lower breast cancer risk in daughters of pre-eclamptic pregnancies is explained by lower in utero estrogen exposure.