Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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A comparison of food habit and food frequency data as predictors of breast cancer in the NHANES I/NHEFS cohort
Byrne, C., Ursin, G., Ziegler, R. G. J Nutr. 1996. 126:11, 2757-64.
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 6,156
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
In: Women who were between the ages of 25 and 74 years when examined for the NHANES I in 1971-1975, who have completed the version of the NHEFS interview, have reported no history of breast cancer or bilateral mastectomy on the 1982-1984 NHEFS questionnaire, and who are black or white. Ex: Women who did not respond to 10 or more of the 93-food items questionnaire.
Exposure Investigated
Exposures investigated
Dietary fat, whole milk
How exposure was measured
Questionnaire, in person, FFQ and food habits
Exposure assessment comment
93 food item 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.
Restricted to black and white
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, alcohol consumption, race, parity
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
Age-adjusted RR with 95% CI, highest versus lowest quartile of intake, follow-up 4 years
Strength of associations reported
Total fat: 0.68 (0.3 - 1.5); whole milk: 1.37 (0.80 - 2.37)
Results Comments
The breast cancer rates associated with fat intake were highest for women in the lowest quartile of intake, however results were not statistically significant.
Author address
Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.