Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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Intake of vegetables, fruits, beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin supplements and cancer incidence among the elderly: a prospective study
Shibata, A., Paganini-Hill, A., Ross, R. K., Henderson, B. E. Br J Cancer. 1992. 66:4, 673-9.
Study design
Prospective cohort
Funding agency
NCI and US Public health Service
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Post menopausal
Number in Cohort
Cohort: 11,580
Cohort participation rate
Less than 70% (61%)
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
In: Resident of Leisure world retirement community Ex: Not mentioned
Comment about participation selection
Homogenous cohort (age, race, socioeconomic level, diet)
Exposure Investigated
Exposures investigated
Vegetables, fruits, beta-carotene, vitamin C,
How exposure was measured
Questionnaire, self-administered, FFQ
Exposure assessment comment
All participants have high exposure of beta-carotene and vitamin C
Statistical Analysis
Ethnic groups with separate analysis
If this study provided a separate analysis by ethnic or racial group, the groups are listed here.
Almost entirely caucasian
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, parity, alcohol intake, family history of breast cancer
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, tertiles of intake highest versus lowest tertile, stratified by supplement intake, follow-up 8 years, first year was excluded from the analysis
Strength of associations reported
All fruits and vegetable: 0.87 (0.63-1.21); all vegetables: 0.96 (0.69-1.34), all fruits: 0.82 (0.60-1.12); β carotene:0.79 (0.57-1.1 0); dietary Vit C: 0.86 (0.63-1.18)
Results Comments
Beta-carotene, dietary vitamin C, and supplements were inversely associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer but none of these result were statistically significant.
Author address
Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California, School of Medicine, Los Angeles 90033-0800.