European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 217–223 | Cite as

Dietary fiber intake and risk of breast cancer by menopausal and estrogen receptor status

  • Qian Li
  • Theodore R. Holford
  • Yawei Zhang
  • Peter Boyle
  • Susan T. Mayne
  • Min DaiEmail author
  • Tongzhang ZhengEmail author
Original Contribution



Evaluate the hypothesis that relation of breast cancer associated with dietary fiber intakes varies by type of fiber, menopausal, and the tumor’s hormone receptor status.


A case–control study of female breast cancer was conducted in Connecticut. A total of 557 incident breast cancer cases and 536 age frequency-matched controls were included in the analysis. Information on dietary intakes was collected through in-person interviews with a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire and was converted into nutrient intakes. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated by unconditional logistic regression.


Among pre-menopausal women, higher intake of soluble fiber (highest versus lowest quartile of intake) was associated with a significantly reduced risk of breast cancer (OR = 0.38, 95% CI, 0.15–0.97, P trend = 0.08). When further restricted to pre-menopausal women with ER tumors, the adjusted OR for the highest quartile of intake was 0.15 (95% CI, 0.03–0.69, P trend = 0.02) for soluble fiber intake. Among post-menopausal women, no reduced risk of breast cancer was observed for either soluble or insoluble fiber intakes or among ER+ or ER tumor groups.


The results from this study show that dietary soluble fiber intake is associated with a significantly reduced risk of ER breast cancer among pre-menopausal women. Additional studies with larger sample size are needed to confirm these results.


Dietary fiber intake Breast cancer Estrogen receptor Menopausal status Case–control studies 



This work was supported by the National Cancer Institute/National Institute of Environmental Health Science [CA-62986]. Preparation of the manuscript is partly supported by grants: 5D43TW008323 and 5D43TW007864. We also appreciate the support of personnel at Connecticut hospitals. The following Connecticut hospitals have participated in the study: Yale-New Haven Hospital, Hartford Hospital, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, New Britain General Hospital, Middlesex Hospital, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Manchester Memorial Hospital, UCONN Health Center/John Dempsey Hospital, Windham Community Memorial Hospital, Day Kimball Hospital, Rockville General Hospital, and Johnson Memorial Hospital.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qian Li
    • 1
  • Theodore R. Holford
    • 2
  • Yawei Zhang
    • 3
  • Peter Boyle
    • 4
  • Susan T. Mayne
    • 5
  • Min Dai
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tongzhang Zheng
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.National Office of Cancer Prevention and Control, Cancer Institute and HospitalChinese Academy of Medical SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Division of BiostatisticsYale School of Public HealthNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.Division of Environmental Health SciencesYale School of Public HealthNew HavenUSA
  4. 4.International Prevention Research Institute (IPRI)LyonFrance
  5. 5.Division of Chronic Disease EpidemiologyYale School of Public HealthNew HavenUSA

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