Associations between dietary patterns and the risk of breast cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies.
Xiao Y, Xia J, Li L. et al (2019) Breast Cancer Res.
The aim of the study was to address the inconsistent results in the current evidence by conducting an updated meta-analysis of observational studies to assess the associations between different dietary patterns and the risk of breast cancer.
Globally breast cancer is the most common cancer and leading cause of cancer deaths among women. Epidemiological studies have investigated dietary patterns and breast cancer risk with conflicting results. A meta-analysis published in 2010 found a prudent/healthy dietary pattern to be associated with reduced breast cancer risk. However, no association was found between a Western/unhealthy dietary pattern and risk of developing breast cancer. Sixteen additional studies have now been published including 6 cohort and 10 case-control studies, therefore up to date review data were needed.
The current study found a total of 32 eligible studies including 43,285 breast cancer cases. Pooled analyses showed that a Western/unhealthy dietary pattern was associated with an increased risk (14%) of breast cancer development, compared to an inverse association (18% reduced risk) with a prudent/healthy dietary pattern. The authors suggest that the Western dietary pattern, characterised by high intakes of energy, red meat and processed meat, and animal fat, can increase breast cancer risk through increased BMI and increased levels of oestrogen, particularly among postmenopausal women. Diet is advocated by the WCRF as a potentially modifiable means to reduce cancer risk. A prudent dietary pattern, characterised by high intakes of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains is recommended for breast cancer prevention.
1. Brennan, S.F., et al., Dietary patterns and breast cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr, 2010. 91(5): p. 1294-302.