Breast Cancer

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 152–160 | Cite as

Dietary patterns and breast cancer risk in a prospective Japanese study

  • Reiji Kojima
  • Emiko Okada
  • Shigekazu UkawaEmail author
  • Mitsuru Mori
  • Kenji Wakai
  • Chigusa Date
  • Hiroyasu Iso
  • Akiko Tamakoshi
Original Article



The association between dietary patterns and breast cancer has been inconsistent.


This study examined associations between dietary patterns and risk of developing breast cancer among 23,172 women from the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study, including 119 incidences of breast cancer diagnosed during a median 16.9-year follow-up period. Factor analysis was conducted to obtain dietary patterns, and Cox proportional models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % confidence intervals (95 % CI) for breast cancer morbidity.


Three dietary patterns were identified: ‘‘vegetable pattern’’ (vegetables, potatoes, seaweed, tofu, fruits, fresh fish, eggs, and miso soup); ‘‘animal food pattern’’ (meat, deep-fried foods, fried vegetables, fish paste and salt-preserved fish); and “dairy product pattern’’ (milk, dairy products, fruits, coffee and tea). After adjusting for potential confounders, the vegetable and dairy product patterns were not significantly associated with risk of breast cancer. However, the animal food pattern was significantly associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer morbidity among premenopausal women by HR 0.47 for the 2nd tertile (95 % CI 0.22–1.00) and HR 0.42 for the 3rd tertile (95 % CI 0.18–0.93), compared with the bottom tertile (p for trend 0.04).


We found no significant association between the vegetable and dairy product dietary patterns and breast cancer risk; however, an animal product diet may reduce risk of breast cancer among premenopausal Japanese women.


Dietary pattern Cohort study Japanese Breast cancer 



Breast cancer


Body mass index


Confidence interval


Food frequency questionnaire


Hazard ratio


Japan Collaborative Cohort (study)



We wish to express our sincere thanks to Drs. Kunio Aoki and Yoshiyuki Ohno, Professors Emeriti of the Nagoya University School of Medicine and former chairpersons of the JACC Study. For their encouragement and support during this study, we are also greatly indebted to: Dr. Haruo Sugano, former Director of the Cancer Institute, Tokyo, who made substantial contributions to the initiation of the JACC Study; Dr. Tomoyuki Kitagawa, Director Emeritus of the Cancer Institute of the Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research and former project leader of the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Priority Area “Cancer”; and Dr. Kazuo Tajima, Aichi Cancer Center, who was the previous project leader of the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Priority Area of Cancer Epidemiology.

Compliance with ethical standards

Financial support

This work was supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture of Japan (Monbusho), Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Priority Areas of Cancer, and Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Priority Areas of Cancer Epidemiology from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Monbu-Kagaku-sho; Nos. 61010076, 62010074, 63010074, 1010068, 2151065, 3151064, 4151063, 5151069, 6279102, 11181101, 17015022, 18014011, 20014026 and 20390156). Another Grant-in-Aid was received from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Health and Labor Sciences Research Grants, Japan (Comprehensive Research on Cardiovascular and Life-Style Related Diseases: H25-Junkankitou [Seisaku]-Ippan-003).

Ethics approval

This study was approved by the Ethics Board of Nagoya University School of Medicine.

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that there are no conflicts of interests.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Breast Cancer Society 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reiji Kojima
    • 1
    • 2
  • Emiko Okada
    • 1
  • Shigekazu Ukawa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mitsuru Mori
    • 3
  • Kenji Wakai
    • 4
  • Chigusa Date
    • 5
  • Hiroyasu Iso
    • 6
  • Akiko Tamakoshi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Public HealthHokkaido University Graduate School of MedicineSapporoJapan
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsJapan Self-Defense Forces Sapporo HospitalHokkaidoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Public HealthSchool of Medicine, Sapporo Medical UniversityHokkaidoJapan
  4. 4.Department of Preventive MedicineNagoya University Graduate School of MedicineNagoyaJapan
  5. 5.Department of Food Science and NutritionSchool of Human Science and EnvironmentHyogoJapan
  6. 6.Public HealthDepartment of Social and Environmental Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka UniversityOsakaJapan

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