Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
Print this page
Erythrocyte membrane fatty acids and subsequent breast cancer: a prospective Italian study
Pala, V., Krogh, V., Muti, P., Chajes, V., Riboli, E., Micheli, A., Saadatian, M., Sieri, S., Berrino, F. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2001. 93:14, 1088-95.
Study design
Nested case-controls
Funding agency
Not reported
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Post menopausal
Number in Cohort
Controls: 141, cohort: 4022
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
In: Participants of ORDET (Hormones, diet, and breast cancer study); post menopausal women who resided in Varese Province Ex: Women who had a history of cancer, bilateral ovariectomy, or chronic or acute liver disease or women who had received hormone therapy in the 3 months before recruitment. Women diagnosed with breast cancer before enrollment, or diagnosed with cancer in situ
Exposures investigated
Erythrocytes fatty acids (saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated)
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, parity, family history of breast cancer, 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
Unadj. OR with 95% CI, highest versus lowest tertile based on percentage composition of each individual fatty acid, average follow-up 5.5 years
Strength of associations reported
Saturated: 1.01 (0.45-2.29), monounsaturated: 5.21 (1.95-13.91), polyunsaturated: 0.34 (0.15-0.79)
Results Comments
Postmenopausal women who developed breast cancer had erythrocyte membranes characterized by higher levels of monounsaturated fatty acids.
Author address
Unita Operativa di Epidemiologia, Istituto Nazionale per la Cura e lo Studio dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.