Ionizing radiation and volumetric mammographic density
More details
Hide details
Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (Department of Environmental Epidemiology)
Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (Department of Radiation Protection)
Online publication date: 2022-08-01
Corresponding author
Joanna Domienik-Andrzejewska   

Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Department of Radiation Protection, św. Teresy 8, 91-348 Łódź, Poland
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2022;35(5):635-49
Objectives: Mammographic density (MD) refers to the percentage of dense tissue of an entire breast and was proposed to be used as a surrogate marker for breast cancer. High-dose ionizing radiation (IR) has been recognized as a breast cancer risk factor. The aim of our study was to investigate association between lifetime low dose ionizing radiation (LDIR) and MD. Material and Methods: A cross-sectional study included 467 women aged 40–60 years who underwent screening mammography in Łódź, Poland. The digital mammography examination of the breasts included both craniocaudal and mediolateral oblique views. The volumetric breast density (VBD) (%) and fibrograndular tissue volume (FG) (cm3) were determined based on the analysis of mammographic image (“for processing”) using Volpara Imaging Software. The exposure to IR was estimated for each individual, based on the data from interviews about diagnostic or therapeutic medical procedures performed in the area of the neck, chest, abdomen and spine, which involved X-rays and γ rays and the data about the doses derived from literature. Linear and logistic regression were fitted with VBD and FG as the outcomes and organ breast dose, effective dose and number of mammographies as the determinants, adjusted for major confounders. Results: The analyses showed no association between VBD or FG and the breast organ dose or the effective dose. The only significant finding observed concerned the association between the number of mammographies and the FG volume with β coefficient: 0.028 (95% CI: 0.012–0.043), and predicted mean FG volume >13.4 cm3 among the women with >3 mammographies when compared to those with none. Conclusions: This study does not, in general, provide support for the positive association between LDIR and MD. The weak association of the FG volume with the number of mammographies warrants further verification in larger independent studies. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2022;35(5):635–49
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top