Mammographic breast density in recent and longer-standing ethiopian immigrants to israel

Miri Sklair-Levy, Anat Segev, Tamar Sella, Ronit Calderon-Margalit, Douglas Zippel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


High breast density is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer development. Little is known concerning ethnic variations in breast density and its relevant contributing factors. We aimed to study breast density among Ethiopian immigrants to Israel in comparison with Israeli-born women and to determine any effect on breast density of the length of residency in the immigrant population. Mammographic breast density using the BI-RADS system was estimated and compared between 77 women of Ethiopian origin who live in Israel and 177 Israeli-born controls. Logistic regression analysis was performed to estimate the odds ratios (OR) for high density (BI-RADS score ≥ 3) vs low density (BI-RADS score < 3) cases, comparing the 2 origin groups. Ethiopian-born women had a crude OR of 0.15 (95% CI: 0.08-0.26) for high breast density compared with Israeli-born women. Adjustments for various cofounders did not affect the results. Time since immigration to Israel seemed to modify the relationship, with a stronger association for women who immigrated within 2 years prior to mammography (OR:0.07, 95% CI: 0.03-0.17) as opposed to women with a longer residency stay in Israel (OR:0.23, 95% CI:0.10-0.50). Adjustments of various confounders did not alter these findings. Breast density in Ethiopian immigrants to Israel is significantly lower than that of Israeli-born controls. Our study suggests a positive association between time since immigration and breast density. Future studies are required to define the possible effects of dietary change on mammographic density following immigration.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)772-777
Number of pages6
JournalBreast Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • breast density
  • ethnic variation
  • screening mammogram


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