|Nutrition Evidence Library|
Fung TT, Hu FB, Holmes MD, Rosner BA, Hunter DJ, Colditz GA, Willett WC. Dietary patterns and the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. Int J Cancer. 2005;116:116-121.
PubMed ID: 15756679
Prospective Cohort Study
B - Click here for explanation of classification scheme.
Research Design and Implementation Rating:
POSITIVE: See Research Design and Implementation Criteria Checklist below.
The purpose of this study was to identify major dietary patterns in a cohort of women and prospectively examine their associations with postmenopausal breast cancer.
Women from the Nurses'Health Sudy who completed the 1984 Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) with fewer than 70 missing items (out of 116 items) and their total energy intake (as calculated from the FFQ) was between 500 and 3,500 kcal/day.
Women were excluded from this study if they had a history of cancer at baseline, except nonmelanoma skin cancer or in situ breast cancers.
Description of Study Protocol:
Recruitment Female nurses who originally participated in the 1976 Nurses' Health Study (NHS) and who responded to the 1984 FFQ and bienniel NHS questionnaire regarding medical, lifestyle and other health-related information.
Design Prospective Cohort Study
Blinding used (if applicable) NA
Intervention (if applicable) NA
Data Collection Summary:
Timing of Measurements biennial questionnaire followup for up to 16 years, from 1984 to 2000 along with case ascertainment (breast cancer during that period).
Cigarette smoking, body weight (BMI), history of benign breast disease, occurrence of menopause and the use of hormone replacement therapy, parity and age at first birth, and physical activites (METs).
Description of Actual Data Sample:
Initial N: 71,058 female
Attrition (final N): N not stated, however, authors reported follow-up for the entire Nurses Study was complete for greater than 95% of the potential person-time up to the year 2000.
Age: 30-55 years of age in 1976
Other relevant demographics:
Anthropometrics (e.g., were groups same or different on important measures)
Summary of Results:
The authors found no overall association between 2 major dietary patterns (Prudent-high in fruits and vegetables, and Western-high in red and processed meats) and the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. However, for the subset of negative Estrogen Receptor breast cancers, a significantly lower risk was observed with the prudent pattern and with higher intakes of fruits and vegetables. A significantly higher risk was found between the Western pattern and breast cancer risk only among smokers.
The author acknowledged that the dietary patterns seen in this cohort represent current eating patterns, and that the prudent pattern may not necessarily represent the optimal diet for breast cancer prevention. Additionally, the impact of diet on breast cancer risk may be specific to a particular period in life which was not captured in this study.
Copyright American Dietetic Association (ADA).