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Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 145, Issue 1, pp 255–265 | Cite as

Premenopausal dietary fat in relation to pre- and post-menopausal breast cancer

  • Maryam S. Farvid
  • Eunyoung Cho
  • Wendy Y. Chen
  • A. Heather Eliassen
  • Walter C. Willett
Epidemiology

Abstract

We examined the association between fat intake and breast cancer incidence in the Nurses’ Health Study II. We followed 88,804 women aged 26–45 years from 1991 to 2011 and documented incident breast cancers. Dietary fat, assessed by questionnaires in 1991, was examined in relation to total, premenopausal, and postmenopausal breast cancers. Multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate relative risk (RR) and 95 % confidence intervals (95 % CI). During 20 years of follow-up, 2,830 incident invasive breast cancer cases were diagnosed. Total fat intake was not associated with risk of breast cancer overall. After adjustment for demographic, anthropometric, lifestyle, and dietary factors, a positive association was observed between animal fat intake and breast cancer overall (RR for highest vs lowest quintile, 1.18; 95 % CI 1.04–1.33; P trend = 0.01). A positive association with animal fat intake was also seen among premenopausal women, but not among postmenopausal women. Higher intakes of saturated fat and monounsaturated fat were each associated with modestly higher breast cancer risk among all women, and higher cholesterol intake was associated with higher premenopausal breast cancer risk. However, the associations of saturated fat, monounsaturated fat and animal fat, were attenuated and non-significant after adjustment for red meat intake. Intakes of other types of fat including vegetable fat, dairy fat, polyunsaturated fat, and trans fat were not associated with breast cancer risk. Our finding suggests a positive association between early adult intake of animal fat and breast cancer risk.

Keywords

Fat intake Animal fat Breast cancer 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health Grant (R01CA050385). The study sponsors were not involved in the study design and collection, analysis and interpretation of data, or the writing of the article or the decision to submit it for publication. The authors were independent from study sponsors. We would like to thank the participants and staff of the Nurses’ Health Study II, for their valuable contributions as well as the following state cancer registries for their help: AL, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, NE, NH, NJ, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, WY. In addition, this study was approved by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) Human Investigations Committee. Certain data used in this publication were obtained from the DPH. The authors’ responsibility were as follows: MSF, EC, WYC, AHE, and WCW: designed the research; MSF: analyzed and wrote the manuscript; and WCW: had primary responsibility for the final content of the manuscript; and all authors: provided critical input in the writing of the manuscript and read and approved the final manuscript. The authors assume full responsibility for analyses and interpretation of these data.

Conflict of interest

No potential conflicts of interest were disclosed.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maryam S. Farvid
    • 1
    • 2
  • Eunyoung Cho
    • 3
    • 4
  • Wendy Y. Chen
    • 3
    • 5
  • A. Heather Eliassen
    • 3
    • 6
  • Walter C. Willett
    • 1
    • 3
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of NutritionHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Community Nutrition, Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food TechnologyShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of MedicineBrigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  4. 4.Department of DermatologyThe Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  5. 5.Department of Medical OncologyDana-Farber Cancer InstituteBostonUSA
  6. 6.Department of EpidemiologyHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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