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A. Heather Eliassen, ScD

Instructor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School

Associate Epidemiologist
Department of Medicine
Brigham and Women's Hospital

Research Interests

Dr. Eliassenís research focuses on the associations between lifestyle factors, endogenous hormones, and the risk of breast cancer. She is interested in lifestyle factors that may reduce the risk of breast cancer, either via a hormonal pathway or independently. Utilizing data from the Nursesí Health Study cohort, she has examined the relations of statin lipid-lowering drugs, tubal sterilization, and weight change with the risk of breast cancer. Her interests in hormones include the correlations between lifestyle factors and hormone levels and the associations between concentrations of hormones and the risk of breast cancer among both premenopausal and postmenopausal women. She is a co-investigator on sub-cohorts within Nursesí Health Study I and II that include blood samples from over 60,000 women, and she has used these data to examine hormonal biomarkers among both premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Her interests in lifestyle factors and biomarkers extend to include dietary factors and she has examined the validation of dietary assessments and the correlations between plasma nutrients and reported intake within the Healthy Directions behavioral intervention studies designed to implement cancer prevention strategies.

Selected Publications

Tworoger SS, Eliassen AH, Rosner B, Sluss P, Hankinson SE. Plasma prolactin concentrations and risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. Cancer Res. 2004;64(18):6814-9. [abstract]

Missmer SA, Eliassen AH, Barbieri RL, Hankinson SE. Endogenous estrogen, androgen, and progesterone concentrations and breast cancer risk among postmenopausal women. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2004;96(24):1856-65. [abstract]

Eliassen AH, Colditz GA, Rosner B, Willett WC, Hankinson SE. Serum lipids, lipid-lowering drugs, and the risk of breast cancer. Arch Intern Med. 2005;165(19):2264-71. [abstract]

Eliassen AH, Colditz GA, Peterson KE, Furtado JD, Fay ME, Sorensen G, Emmons KM. Biomarker validation of dietary intervention in two multiethnic populations. Prev Chronic Dis. 2006;3(2):A44. [abstract}

Eliassen AH, Colditz GA, Rosner B, Hankinson SE. Tubal sterilization in relation to breast cancer risk. Int J Cancer. 2006;118(8):2026-30. [abstract]

Eliassen AH, Missmer SA, Tworoger SS, Hankinson SE. Endogenous steroid hormone concentrations and risk of breast cancer: does the association vary by a woman's predicted breast cancer risk? J Clin Oncol. 2006;24(12):1823-30. [abstract]

Tworoger SS, Missmer SA, Eliassen AH, Spiegelman D, Folkerd E, Dowsett M, Barbieri RL, Hankinson SE. The association of plasma DHEA and DHEA sulfate with breast cancer risk in predominantly premenopausal women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006;15(5):967-71. [abstract]

Eliassen AH, Colditz GA, Rosner B, Willett WC, Hankinson SE. Adult weight change and risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. JAMA. 2006;296(2):193-201. [abstract]