Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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Fat and protein intake and subsequent breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women
Sieri, S., Krogh, V., Muti, P., Micheli, A., Pala, V., Crosignani, P., Berrino, F. Nutr Cancer. 2002. 42:1, 10-7.
Study design
Nested case-control
Funding agency
Italian League Against Cancer (Milan Section) and
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Post menopausal
Number of Controls
3,367 (214 controls)
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
In: Participants of the ORDET study; healthy postmenopausal women, aged 41 - 70 yr, residents of Varese Province, Northern Italy Ex: Women with a history of cancer, bilateral ovariectomy, or chronic or acute liver disease
Exposures investigated
Total fat, saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, carbohydrates
How exposure was measured
Questionnaire, self-administered; 107 items, semiquantiative FFQ
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: 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
RR with 95% CI, highest versus lowest tertile, follow-up from 1987 - 1992
Strength of associations reported
Total fat: 3.47 (1.43 - 8.44); saturated fat: 1.12 (0.31 – 4.04); monounsaturated fat: 2.96 (0.70 – 12.6); polyunsaturated fat: 2.03 (0.68 – 6.03); linoleic acid: 1.39 (0.51 – 3.80); linolenic acid:0.71 (0.20 – 2.55); carbohydrates: 0.42 (0.18 – 0.95)
Results Comments
This prospective study showed an association between total fat intake and the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women; however other aspects of fat intake did not show a significant association.
Author address
Unita Operativa di Epidemiologia, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, 20133 Milan, Italy.