Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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Dietary carbohydrate intake is not associated with the breast cancer incidence rate ratio in postmenopausal danish women
Nielsen, T. G., Olsen, A., Christensen, J., Overvad, K., Tjonneland, A. J Nutr. 2005. 135:1, 124-8.
Study design
Prospective cohort
Funding agency
Other: Danish Cancer Society, Europe against Cance
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Post menopausal
Number in Cohort
Cohort 23,870
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
In: Danish women, between 50 and 64 years invited to participate in the "Diet, Cancer and Health" study (born in Denmark and lived in either the greater Copenhagen or Aarhus area, and had never been diagnosed with any type of cancer) Ex: If women did not respond to the lifestyle questionnaire, if they reported at least one menstruation during the last 12 months, or missing information on at least one of the potential confounders.
Exposures investigated
Carbohydrate, glycemic Index (GI), glycemic load (GL)
How exposure was measured
Questionnaire, self-administered, FFQ Questionnaire, in person, 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, race
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 IRR with 95% CI, analyzed as a continuous variable by 50g increments in daily intake, stratification by ER, mean follow-up 6.6 years
Strength of associations reported
Carbohydrate: 1.06 (0.97-1.16); GI: 0.94 (0.80-1.10); GL: 1.04 (0.90-1.19)
Results Comments
The reported intake of carbohydrates was not associated with the incidence rate of breast cancer, additionally, no association was observed with intake of different carbohydrates. A significant inverse association was observed for glycemic index and ER+ breast cancer, but results from the other carbohydrate variables did not differ by ER status.
Author address
Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, The Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen, Denmark.