Correlation of Breast Cancer Incidence with the Number of Motor Vehicles and Consumption of Gasoline in Korea

  • Park, Boyoung (National Cancer Control Institute, National Cancer Center) ;
  • Shin, Aesun (Department of Preventive Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine) ;
  • Jung-Choi, Kyunghee (Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, Ewha Womans University) ;
  • Ha, Eunhee (Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, Ewha Womans University) ;
  • Cheong, Hae-Kwan (Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine) ;
  • Kim, Hyun Jeong (Environmental Health Research Department, National Institute of Environmental Research) ;
  • Park, Kyung Hwa (Environmental Health Research Department, National Institute of Environmental Research) ;
  • Jang, Sungmi (Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, Ewha Womans University) ;
  • Moon, Byung-In (Department of Surgery, Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital, Ewha Womans University) ;
  • Ha, Mina (Department of Preventive Medicine, Dankook University College of Medicine)
  • Published : 2014.04.01


While several reproductive and lifestyle-related factors are already well-known as established risk factors for breast cancer, environmental factors have attracted attention only recently. The objective of the current study was to assess the association between the breast cancer incidences in females, the mortality rate and the number of motor vehicles on the one side and the consumption of gasoline which could work as a major source of air pollution at the other side. The breast cancer incidences and the mortality trends were compared with various indices of westernization like dietary patterns or industrialization with 10 years lag of time. Geographical variations with 10, 15 and 20 years lag of time were assessed between the breast cancer incidence in 2010 and the number of motor vehicles as well as the consumption of gasoline. The upward trend of motor vehicle numbers proved to be comparable to those of breast cancer incidence and mortality. However, the consumption of gasoline started to decrease since the mid-1990s. The geographic distribution of motor vehicle numbers and gasoline consumption in 1990 is in a positive correlation with the breast cancer incidence rates in 2010 and the 20-year lag time ($R^2$ 0.379 with the number of motor vehicles and 0.345 with consumption of gasoline). In a linear relationship between the breast cancer incidences in 2010 and the log transformed number of motor vehicles, the log transformed consumption of gasoline in 2000 also showed a positive relationship ($R^2$ 0.367 with the number of motor vehicles and 0.329 with consumption of gasoline). The results of the current study indicate that there may be a positive relation between the number of vehicles, gasoline consumption and the incidence of breast cancer from the aspects of long-term trends and geographical variation.


Supported by : National Institute of Environmental Research


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