Incomplete pregnancy is not associated with breast cancer risk: The California Teachers Study

Henderson KD

Sullivan-Halley J

Reynolds P

Horn-Ross PL

Clarke CA

Chang ET

Neuhausen S

Ursin G

Bernstein L

Jun 2008


Early studies of incomplete pregnancy and development of breast cancer suggested that induced abortion might increase risk. Several large prospective studies, which eliminate recall bias, did not detect associations, but this relationship continues to be debated.


To further inform this important question, we examined invasive breast cancer as it relates to incomplete pregnancy, including total number of induced abortions, age at first induced abortion and total number of miscarriages among women participating in the ongoing California Teachers Study (CTS) cohort. Incomplete pregnancy was self-reported on the CTS baseline questionnaire in 1995-1996. Incident breast cancers were ascertained in 3324 women through 2004 via linkage with the California Cancer Registry.


Using Cox multivariable regression, we found no statistically significant association between any measure of incomplete pregnancy and breast cancer risk among nulliparous or parous women.


These results provide strong evidence that there is no relationship between incomplete pregnancy and breast cancer risk.