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Correlation of ethnicity with breast density as assessed by Quantra™


It is widely accepted that there is an association between mammographic density and breast cancer risk [1]. Various studies have examined relationships between ethnicity and breast density patterns using the Wolfe classification system [2], with a view to investigating potential breast cancer risk. Quantra™ is a volumetric assessment tool, which allows reproducible objective measurement of mammographic breast density, eliminating inter-observer variability. Our study sought to investigate the correlation between ethnicity and breast density using Quantra™ measurements.


The Quantra™ value was recorded from the mammograms of symptomatic breast patients at St George's Hospital, London over a 6-month period. We compared three distinct ethnic groups; Black (African and Afro-Caribbean), Asian (Indian subcontinent) and White (Caucasian). Mean Quantra™ values were calculated for each group and the Kruskal-Wallis test was applied.


A total of 428 patients were included in the study. Mean breast density values for the three ethnic groups were as follows: Black, 24.31%; Asian, 21.94%; White, 24.74%. P = 0.0046 (Kruskal-Wallis).


There is a statistically significant difference between the objectively measured breast densities of these three ethnic groups. This is of relevance to the assessment of breast cancer risk.


  1. Boyd NF, Guo H, Martin LJ, Sun L, Stone J, Fishell E, Jong RA, Hislop G, Chiarelli A, Minkin S, Yaffe MJ: Mammographic density and the risk and detection of breast cancer. N Engl J Med. 2007, 356: 227-236. 10.1056/NEJMoa062790.

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  2. Turnbull AE, Kapera L, Cohen ME: Mammographic parenchymal patterns in Asian and Caucasian women attending for screening. Clin Radiol. 1993, 48: 38-40. 10.1016/S0009-9260(05)80105-9.

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Tzias, D., George, S., Wilkinson, L. et al. Correlation of ethnicity with breast density as assessed by Quantra™. Breast Cancer Res 13 (Suppl 1), O5 (2011).

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