International Consortium on Mammographic Density: Methodology and population diversity captured across 22 countries

Valerie A. McCormack, Anya Burton, Isabel dos-Santos-Silva, John H. Hipwell, Caroline Dickens, Dorria Salem, Rasha Kamal, Mikael Hartman, Charmaine Pei Ling Lee, Kee Seng Chia, Vahit Ozmen, Mustafa Erkin Aribal, Anath Arzee Flugelman, Martín Lajous, Ruy Lopez-Riduara, Megan Rice, Isabelle Romieu, Giske Ursin, Samera Qureshi, Huiyan MaEunjung Lee, Carla H. van Gils, Johanna O.P. Wanders, Sudhir Vinayak, Rose Ndumia, Steve Allen, Sarah Vinnicombe, Sue Moss, Jong Won Lee, Jisun Kim, Ana Pereira, Maria Luisa Garmendia, Reza Sirous, Mehri Sirous, Beata Peplonska, Agnieszka Bukowska, Rulla M. Tamimi, Kimberly Bertrand, Chisato Nagata, Ava Kwong, Celine Vachon, Christopher Scott, Beatriz Perez-Gomez, Marina Pollan, Gertraud Maskarinec, Graham Giles, John Hopper, Jennifer Stone, Nadia Rajaram, Soo Hwang Teo, Shivaani Mariapun, Martin J. Yaffe, Joachim Schüz, Anna M. Chiarelli, Linda Linton, Norman F. Boyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Mammographic density (MD) is a quantitative trait, measurable in all women, and is among the strongest markers of breast cancer risk. The population-based epidemiology of MD has revealed genetic, lifestyle and societal/environmental determinants, but studies have largely been conducted in women with similar westernized lifestyles living in countries with high breast cancer incidence rates. To benefit from the heterogeneity in risk factors and their combinations worldwide, we created an International Consortium on Mammographic Density (ICMD) to pool individual-level epidemiological and MD data from general population studies worldwide. ICMD aims to characterize determinants of MD more precisely, and to evaluate whether they are consistent across populations worldwide. We included 11755 women, from 27 studies in 22 countries, on whom individual-level risk factor data were pooled and original mammographic images were re-read for ICMD to obtain standardized comparable MD data. In the present article, we present (i) the rationale for this consortium; (ii) characteristics of the studies and women included; and (iii) study methodology to obtain comparable MD data from original re-read films. We also highlight the risk factor heterogeneity captured by such an effort and, thus, the unique insight the pooled study promises to offer through wider exposure ranges, different confounding structures and enhanced power for sub-group analyses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-151
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Epidemiology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • Breast cancer
  • International Consortium
  • Mammographic density


Dive into the research topics of 'International Consortium on Mammographic Density: Methodology and population diversity captured across 22 countries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this