Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 20, Issue 10, pp 1845–1853 | Cite as

Meat and egg consumption and risk of breast cancer among Chinese women

  • Cai-Xia Zhang
  • Suzanne C. HoEmail author
  • Yu-Ming Chen
  • Fang-Yu Lin
  • Jian-Hua Fu
  • Shou-Zhen Cheng
Original paper



The association between meat and egg consumption and breast cancer risk has been examined in previous studies, but the results were inconsistent. We conducted a hospital-based case–control study during June 2007 to August 2008 among Guangdong Chinese women to investigate associations between meat and egg intake and breast cancer risk.


Four hundred and thirty-eight consecutively recruited cases with primary breast cancer were frequency matched to 438 controls by age (5-year interval) and residence (rural/urban). Dietary intake was assessed by face-to-face interviews using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were obtained by using multiple unconditional logistic regression adjusted for various dietary and nondietary confounders.


We observed a borderline increased association of processed meat intake with breast cancer risk (trend test p = 0.066). The multivariate-adjusted OR of breast cancer risk for the highest versus the lowest quartile was 1.44 (95% CI = 0.97–2.15). No significant association was found between total and red meat, poultry, fish, and egg intake and risk.


This study suggested that processed meat intake was associated with a possible increased risk of breast cancer. There was no significant association between consumption of total and red meat, poultry, fish, or egg with breast cancer risk.


Meat Egg Breast cancer risk China 



This study was supported by the Center of Research and Promotion of Women’s Health of the School of Public Health of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. We very gratefully acknowledge the assistance of our student helpers and participation of the study subjects, without them the study would not be possible. The authors also would like to thank the following doctors for their kind permission to interview patients in their hospitals: Dr Kong-jia Luo, Hong Yang in Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center; Shu-wen Wu, Rui-yu Zheng, Li-jing Hu in the First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University. None of the authors have any conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cai-Xia Zhang
    • 1
  • Suzanne C. Ho
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yu-Ming Chen
    • 2
  • Fang-Yu Lin
    • 3
  • Jian-Hua Fu
    • 4
  • Shou-Zhen Cheng
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Community and Family Medicine, School of Public Health, Prince of Wales HospitalChinese University of Hong KongHong Kong Special Administrative RegionPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Public HealthSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Nursing Department, The First Affiliated HospitalSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Department of Thoracic SurgerySun Yat-sen University Cancer CenterGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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