Milk intake and mammographic density in premenopausal women
Mammographic density is a strong risk factor for breast cancer. Although diet is associated with breast cancer risk, there are limited studies linking adult diet, including milk intake, with mammographic density. Here, we investigate the association of milk intake with mammographic density in premenopausal women.
We analyzed data from 375 cancer-free premenopausal women who had routine screening mammography at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri in 2016. We used Volpara to measure volumetric percent density, dense volume, and non-dense volume. We collected information on recent milk intake (past 12 months), and categorized skim milk and low/reduced-fat milk intake into 4 groups: < 1/week, 1/week, 2–6 times/week, ≥ 1/day, while whole and soy milk intake were categorized into 2 groups: < 1/week, ≥ 1/week. We used multivariable linear regression model to evaluate the associations of milk intake and log-transformed volumetric percent density, dense volume, and non-dense volume.
In multivariable analyses, volumetric percent density was 20% (p-value = 0.003) lower in the 1/week group, 14% (p-value = 0.047) lower in the 2–6/week group, and 12% (p-value = 0.144) lower in the ≥ 1/day group (p-trend = 0.011) compared with women who consumed low/reduced-fat milk < 1/week. Attenuated and non-significant associations were observed for low/reduced-fat milk intake and dense volume. There were no associations of whole, skim, and soy milk intake with volumetric percent density and dense volume.
Recent low/reduced-fat milk intake was inversely associated with volumetric percent density in premenopausal women. Studies on childhood and adolescent milk intake and adult mammographic density in premenopausal women are needed.
KeywordsMilk intake Mammographic density Dairy Diet Breast cancer
Breast imaging reporting and data system
Body mass index
Conjugated linoleic acid
Institutional review board
We acknowledge the study coordinators, especially Kellie Imm, and Linda Li who helped with participant recruitment and data entry.
The study is supported by funds from the Susan G. Komen Foundation (CCR15332379-Dr. Toriola), Siteman Cancer Center Siteman Investment Program supported by The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital Cancer Frontier Fund (BJFH CFF 3781 & 4035) and Washington University School of Medicine; Siteman Cancer Center Biostatistics Shared Resource. The Siteman Cancer Center is supported in part by an NCI Cancer Center Support Grant #P30 CA091842. Dr. Colditz is supported by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Dr. Han is supported by awards from Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Breast Cancer Research Foundation (Award ID: BCRF-17-028). The funders had no role in study design, data collection, analysis, interpretation of data, preparation of the report, or decision to publish.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
Ethical approval for this study was provided by the Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO Institutional Review Board.
- 2.Boyd NF, Lockwood GA, Byng JW, Tritchler DL, Yaffe MJ (1998) Mammographic densities and breast cancer risk. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 7(12):1133–1144Google Scholar
- 13.Vachon CM, Kushi LH, Cerhan JR, Kuni CC, Sellers TA (2000) Association of diet and mammographic breast density in the Minnesota breast cancer family cohort. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 9(2):151–160Google Scholar
- 15.Alipour S, Saberi A, Alikhassi A, Bayani L, Hosseini L (2014) Association of mammographic breast density with dairy product consumption, sun exposure, and daily activity. ISRN Oncol 2014:159049Google Scholar
- 39.Colditz GA, Frazier AL (1995) Models of breast cancer show that risk is set by events of early life: prevention efforts must shift focus. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 4(5):567–571Google Scholar