Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 495–504 | Cite as

Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and breast cancer in the military: a case–control study utilizing pre-diagnostic serum

  • Sharif B. MohrEmail author
  • Edward D. Gorham
  • John E. Alcaraz
  • Christopher I. Kane
  • Caroline A. Macera
  • J. Kellogg Parsons
  • Deborah L. Wingard
  • Ronald Horst
  • Cedric F. Garland
Original paper



The objective of this study was to ascertain whether a relationship exists between pre-diagnostic serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and risk of breast cancer in young women.


About 600 incident cases of breast cancer were matched to 600 controls as part of a nested case–control study that utilized pre-diagnostic sera. Logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between serum 25(OH)D concentration and breast cancer risk, controlling for race and age.


According to the conditional logistic regression for all subjects, odds ratios for breast cancer by quintile of serum 25(OH)D from lowest to highest were 1.2, 1.0, 0.9, 1.1, and 1.0 (reference) (p trend = 0.72). After multivariate regression for subjects whose blood had been collected within 90 days preceding diagnosis, odds ratios for breast cancer by quintile of serum 25(OH)D from lowest to highest were 3.3, 1.9, 1.7, 2.6, and 1.0 (reference) (p trend = 0.09).


An inverse association between serum 25(OH)D concentration and risk of breast cancer was not present in the principal analysis, although an inverse association was present in a small subgroup analysis of subjects whose blood had been collected within 90 days preceding diagnosis. Further prospective studies of 25(OH)D and breast cancer risk are needed.


Vitamin D Breast neoplasms Case–control studies 25-hyrdoxyvitamin D Epidemiology 



This research was supported by a Congressional allocation to the Penn State Cancer Institute of the Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA, through the Department of the Navy, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, under Work Unit No. 60126 at the Naval Health Research Center (San Diego, CA, USA). The views presented here are solely the opinions of the authors and do not represent an official position of the Department of the Navy, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. Approved for public release; distribution unlimited. Thanks to Dr. Angelee Ferber of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command for providing the blood samples used in this study and for her outstanding support of the research. Thanks to June J. Kim, B.S., of Naval Health Research Center for her valued work editing the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sharif B. Mohr
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Edward D. Gorham
    • 1
    • 2
  • John E. Alcaraz
    • 3
  • Christopher I. Kane
    • 1
  • Caroline A. Macera
    • 3
  • J. Kellogg Parsons
    • 4
  • Deborah L. Wingard
    • 1
  • Ronald Horst
    • 5
  • Cedric F. Garland
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Epidemiology, Department of Family and Preventive MedicineUniversity of California San DiegoLa JollaUSA
  2. 2.Naval Health Research CenterSan DiegoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsSan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  4. 4.Department of SurgeryUniversity of California San DiegoLa JollaUSA
  5. 5.Heartland AssaysAmesUSA

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