Staten island breast cancer research initiative: Neighborhoods and length of residence on staten island, puberty and breast cancer mortality risk with respect to environmental contamination sites
Staten Island, NY (SI) is downwind from the largest petrochemical industry in the world, Brookfield (EPA Superfund site) and, for more than 50 years, harbored the largest open dump, Fresh Kills Landfill. Using breast cancer incidence and mortality data from New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOHMH) respectively, it has been determined that SI has among the highest female breast cancer age-adjusted incidence and the highest age-adjusted mortality rate in the metropolitan region. Researchers at the Center for Environmental Science developed and validated a methodology for obtaining data from a combination of newspaper obituaries and death certificates. Death certificate data for breast cancer were obtained for 1980-1990 from NYCDOHMH and a set of female controls. Life histories were compiled through obituary interviews for both cases and controls for the Island. We also divided SI into 53 neighborhoods and 3 community boards. Intra Island differences were analyzed using GIS. A statistically significant increased risk for breast cancer mortality was confirmed for the neighborhoods of Stapleton (p<0.001), Concord (p<0.001), Grasmere (p<0.001), and Fort Wadsworth (p<0.001). Preliminary analysis using logistic regression demonstrated a statistically significant increase in the risk for breast cancer mortality:  when residing on SI during puberty (p<0.001),  with length of residence on SI (p< 0.001) and  with length of residence in Community Board 2 (p<0.001). Preliminary results indicate that low-level, long term environmental exposures may result in increased risk of breast cancer mortality for SI females.
Environmental health sciences
Public health biology
Public health or related research
Identify cancer risk factors for urban populations due to environmental perturbations and discuss environmental health with respect to cancer.
Keyword(s): Breast Cancer, Environmental Health
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator of the Staten Island Breast Cancer Research Initiative and the recipient of multiple state, city and private funded grants focusing on environmental epidemiology, community education outreach and biological-based studies of breast cancer. I am the director of the Center for Environmental Science at the College of Staten Island/CUNY for 20 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.