Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 341–348 | Cite as

Dietary Patterns in Puerto Rican and Mexican-American Breast Cancer Survivors: A Pilot Study

  • Cristina Palacios
  • Carrie R. Daniel
  • Maribel Tirado-Gómez
  • Velda Gonzalez-Mercado
  • Liliana Vallejo
  • Jose Lozada
  • Alexis Ortiz
  • Daniel C. Hughes
  • Karen Basen-Engquist
Original Paper


Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Hispanic women. Certain dietary factors have been associated with the risk of breast cancer recurrence, but data in Hispanic survivors is scarce. Objective: to examine dietary patterns and diet quality in two groups of Hispanic breast cancer survivors. Methods: 23 Mexican-American (MA) and 22 Puerto Rican (PR) female breast cancer survivors completed a culturally adapted validated food frequency questionnaire. Intake was standardized per 1000 kcal and compared to US Dietary Guidelines and the DASH-style diet adherence score was calculated. Results: Overweight/obese was 70 % in MA and 91 % in PR. PR consumed diets rich in fruit/100 % fruit juices and beans, while MA diets were high in vegetables, beans, and total grains. Both groups consumed high amounts of starchy vegetables, refined grains, animal protein and calories from solid fats and added sugars but low intakes of whole grains, dairy products and nuts and seeds. DASH scores were relatively low. Conclusion: MA and PR female breast cancer survivors have different dietary patterns but both groups had relatively low diet quality. These groups could benefit from culturally tailored interventions to improve diet quality, which could potentially reduce cancer recurrence. Identifier NCT01504789.


Dietary patterns DASH-style diet Breast cancer survivors Puerto Ricans Mexican-Americans 



This project was partially supported by the following NIH awards U54 CA 96297; P30 CA016672; NCR (2G12-RR003051), NIMHHD (5G12-MD007600-29), and the Center for Energy Balance in Cancer Prevention and Survivorship, Duncan Family Institute. The authors wish to acknowledge Janice Maras and Gladys Browman for their assistance with the dietary analysis.

Authors’ contributions

MTG and KBE designed study; VGM, LV and JL conducted research; CP conducted analysis and prepared manuscript; KBE, CRD and DCH provided critical review of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristina Palacios
    • 1
  • Carrie R. Daniel
    • 2
  • Maribel Tirado-Gómez
    • 3
  • Velda Gonzalez-Mercado
    • 3
  • Liliana Vallejo
    • 2
  • Jose Lozada
    • 1
  • Alexis Ortiz
    • 4
  • Daniel C. Hughes
    • 5
  • Karen Basen-Engquist
    • 2
  1. 1.Nutrition Program, Graduate School of Public Health, Medical Sciences CampusUniversity of Puerto RicoSan JuanPuerto Rico
  2. 2.The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in HoustonHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Puerto Rico Cancer Center, School of Medicine, Medical Sciences CampusUniversity of Puerto RicoSan JuanPuerto Rico
  4. 4.School of Physical TherapyTexas Woman’s UniversityHoustonUSA
  5. 5.School of MedicineThe University of Texas Health Science CenterSan AntonioUSA

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