Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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Dietary fat and risk of breast cancer
Knekt, P., Albanes, D., Seppanen, R., Aromaa, A., Jarvinen, R., Hyvonen, L., Teppo, L., Pukkala, E. Am J Clin Nutr. 1990. 52:5, 903-8.
Study design
Prospective cohort
Funding agency
Not reported
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Postmenopausal and premenopausal combined
Number in Cohort
Cohort 3,988
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
In: Women aged 20-69 years, participating in the screening examinations (30 regions of Finland) for the Finnish Social Insurance Institution’s Mobile Clinic Health Survey, and who were not previously diagnosed as having cancer.
Comment about participation selection
Small cohort, long follow-up
Exposure Investigated
Exposures investigated
Carbohydrate and fat intake: total, saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated
How exposure was measured
Questionnaire, self-administered, FFQ
Exposure assessment comment
Lack of information about the food frequency questionnaire
Statistical Analysis
Ethnic groups with separate analysis
If this study provided a separate analysis by ethnic or racial group, the groups are listed here.
Confounders considered
Other breast cancer risk factors, such as family history, age at first birth, and hormone replacement therapy use, that were taken into account in the study.
Not considered: BMI, family history of breast cancer, menopausal status, parity, race, alcohol consumption
Genetic characterization included
If the study analyzed relationships between environmental factors and inherited genetic variations, this field will be marked “Yes.” “No”, if not.
Description of major analysis
Adjusted RR with 95% CI, fat: highest versus lowest quintile of intake; carbohydrate: highest vs lowest tertile of intake with adjustment for different components of energy intake, follow-up 20 years.
Strength of associations reported
Total fat: 1.72 (0.61 - 4.82); saturated fat: 1.36 (0.50 - 3.73); monounsaturated fat: 2.70 (0.99 - 7.37); polyunsaturated fat: 1.23 (0.55 - 2.75); carbohydrate: 0.40 (0.16-1.00)
Results Comments
Non-significant positive relationship between relative fat intake and breast cancer, most components of dietary fat appear to contribute to the observed association.
Author address
Research Institute for Social Security, Social Insurance Institution, Helsinki, Finland.