Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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Serum fatty acids and risk of breast cancer in a nested case-control study of the New York University Women's Health Study
Saadatian-Elahi, M., Toniolo, P., Ferrari, P., Goudable, J., Akhmedkhanov, A., Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, A., Riboli, E. IARC Sci Publ. 2002. 156, 227-30.
Study design
Nested case-control
Funding agency
Not reported
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Postmenopausal and premenopausal combined and separate
Number of Controls
Controls 197
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
In: Women aged 34-65 years who participated in New York University Women's Health Study (NYUWHS). Subjects diagnosed with breast cancer > 6 months after cohort recruitment and before 1995.
Exposure Investigated
Exposures investigated
Serum fatty acids (saturated, monounsaturated (MUFA), polyunsaturated (PUFA))
Exposure assessment comment
The time of last food intake before blood sample is recorded but not matched between cases and controls or adjusted for in analyses.
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, 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 OR with 95% CI, highest versus lowest quartile of percentages of serum phospholipids fatty acids. Stratified by menopausal status. Follow-up 1985-1991 until December 1998. Latency period of 6 months.
Strength of associations reported
Saturated: 1.46 (0.74-2.83); MUFA: 1.15 (0.60-2.18), PUFA total: 0.59 (0.31-1.09)
Premenopausal: Saturated: 1.66 (0.56-4.89); MUFA: 1.13 (0.42-3.04), PUFA total: 0.60 (0.24-1.54)
Postmenopausal: Saturated: 1.96 (0.73-5.25); MUFA: 1.38 (0.55-3.49), PUFA total: 0.42 (0.17-1.08)
Results Comments
Overall, no association between fatty acid composition of phospholipids and breast cancer risk.
Author address
International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.