European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 54, Issue 4, pp 609–617 | Cite as

Dietary patterns and breast cancer: a case–control study in women

  • Niki Mourouti
  • Christos Papavagelis
  • Petrini Plytzanopoulou
  • Meropi Kontogianni
  • Tonia Vassilakou
  • Nikolaos Malamos
  • Athena Linos
  • Demosthenes Panagiotakos
Original Contribution



Since dietary habits have been associated with breast cancer, the tested research hypothesis was the associations between food patterns, as derived through multivariate methods, and breast cancer.


In a case–control study, Two-hundred and fifty consecutive, newly diagnosed breast cancer female patients (56 ± 12 years) and 250 one-to-one age-matched, healthy controls were studied. A standardized, validated questionnaire assessing various socio-demographic, clinical, lifestyle, and dietary characteristics was applied through face-to-face interviews. Factor analysis, with principal components method, was applied to extract dietary patterns from 86 foods or food groups consumption reported by the controls.


Three components were derived explaining 43 % of the total variation in consumption. Component 1 was characterized by the consumption of potatoes, red meat and its products, poultry and white meat, dairy products, use of margarine/butter in cooking or at the table, consumption of sausages, fried food as well as grilled meat or fish; component 2 was characterized by the consumption of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables; and component 3 was characterized by olive oil and fish consumption. After adjusting for various confounders, components 2 and 3 were favorably associated with the absence of having breast cancer [odds ratio (OR) 0.60, 95 % CI 0.47–0.75 and OR 0.81, 95 % CI 0.66–0.99, respectively], while component 1 was not significantly associated with the disease.


Adherence to healthy dietary patterns (including whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, olive oil, and fish) seems to be favorable in not having breast cancer, among middle-aged women.


Breast cancer Dietary patterns Factor analysis 



The authors would like to thank all the participants of the study because without their contribution this project would never been done and also would like to thank the Directors of the clinics of the involved hospitals: Gerasimos Aravantinos, Epaminondas Samantas, Evangelos Filopoulos, and the field investigators of the study: Aikaterini Manousou, Vassiliki Markasioti, Aikaterini Kakou, Fotini-Maria Mpalli, Nikolaos Soupos, Zoe Tsakalou, Maria Mitsou, Artemisia Tsakla, Iro Karapapa, Maria Somaraki, Athanasios Tektonidis, Athanasia Laina, and Aggeliki Siolavou.

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Niki Mourouti
    • 1
  • Christos Papavagelis
    • 1
  • Petrini Plytzanopoulou
    • 2
  • Meropi Kontogianni
    • 1
  • Tonia Vassilakou
    • 2
  • Nikolaos Malamos
    • 3
  • Athena Linos
    • 4
  • Demosthenes Panagiotakos
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Health Science and EducationHarokopio UniversityAthensGreece
  2. 2.Department of Nutrition and BiochemistryNational School of Public HealthAthensGreece
  3. 3.Pathology-Oncology DepartmentGeneral Hospital “Elena Venizelos”AthensGreece
  4. 4.Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, School of MedicineUniversity of AthensAthensGreece

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