Background: Incidence rates for breast cancer are higher among Mexican-American (MA) women in the United States than women living in Mexico. Studies have shown higher prevalence of breast cancer risk factors in more acculturated than less acculturated Hispanic/Latinas in the United States. We compared the prevalence of behavioral risk factors and family history of breast cancer by level of acculturation and country of residence in women of Mexican descent. Methods: Data were collected from 1,201 newly diagnosed breast cancer patients living in Mexico (n = 581) and MAs in the United States (n = 620). MA participants were categorized into three acculturation groups (Spanish dominant, bilingual, and English dominant); women living in Mexico were used as the referent group. The prevalence of behavioral risk factors and family history of breast cancer were assessed according to acculturation level, adjusting for age at diagnosis and education. Results: In the adjusted models, bilingual and English-dominant MAs were significantly more likely to have a body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or greater, consume more than one alcoholic beverage a week, and report having a family history of breast cancer than women living in Mexico. All three U.S. acculturation groups were significantly more likely to have lower total energy expenditure (≤533 kcal/d) than women in Mexico. English-dominant women were significantly less likely to ever smoke cigarettes than the Mexican group. Conclusions: Our findings add to the limited scientific literature on the relationships among acculturation, health behavior, and family history of breast cancer in Mexican and MA women.
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© 2015 Jacobs Institute of Women's Health.