One of the unique features of the CHDS and the 3Gs Study is that we can compare health and reproduction across generations. Differences that are observed in one generation compared to another are referred to as intergenerational differences. Highlights include:
- CHDS daughters started their families at an older age than their mothers.
- CHDS daughters have smaller families than their parents.
Differences in education and income:
- CHDS daughters completed more years of education than their mothers.
- More CHDS daughters completed college compared to their mothers.
- Income levels, adjusted for time period, are lower among African-American daughters than among African-American mothers, even though they have higher levels of education.
- CHDS daughters were more likely to be overweight in their 20s than their mothers.
Breast Cancer Risk Factors:
- We know that women whose mothers have had breast cancer are at higher risk of developing breast cancer.
- We looked at the best known breast cancer risk factors (age when they first had a period, Body Mass Index, number of full term pregnancies, age at first pregnancy, and age at menopause) and we found no differences between daughters with and without maternal breast cancer history.
We know that some communities are more affected than others by certain health issues. These differences are often referred to as health disparities. One of the goals of the 3Gs Study was to investigate health disparities in the CHDS. Highlights of early analyses by race show that:
African-American CHDS daughters are at higher risk of:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Breast Cancer
- High blood pressure
- Earlier menopause
- Compared to non-African-American daughters, African-American daughters have:
- Higher weight
- Larger waist circumference
Breast Cancer Risk in 2 Generations:
- African-American mothers have a higher and earlier risk of breast cancer than non-African-Americans.
- This difference is even larger in the second generation, among daughters.
The CHDS has received a grant from the California Breast Cancer Research Program (CBCRP) to extend the Three Generations Study. For this project, the CHDS will partner with Dr. Dean Jones of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. The purpose of the project is to approach the study of environmental risk factors for breast cancer in a different way. Dr. Jones will measure thousands of chemicals in samples provided by CHDS moms during their pregnancies. These are chemicals we absorb from our environment and ones our bodies make. This project will allow us to study:
- the complex mixtures of chemicals that we are all exposed to
- how our bodies respond to these exposures
- how these exposures and responses may alter risk of cancer and other chronic diseases
- how the timing of these exposures and responses such as during pregnancy and in a child's early life may alter risk of cancer and other chronic diseases