The effect of dietary exposures on recurrence and mortality in early stage breast cancer

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Adult; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Beer; Body Mass Index; *Body Weight; Breast Neoplasms; Cohort Studies; Confidence Intervals; *Diet; Dietary Fats; Disease-Free Survival; Female; Follow-Up Studies; Humans; Massachusetts; Middle Aged; Neoplasm Recurrence, Local; Nutrition Surveys; Proportional Hazards Models; Prospective Studies; Risk Factors; Survival Analysis


Nutrition | Oncology | Preventive Medicine


We studied the effect of diet and body weight on recurrence and death in 472 women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in 1982-1984. From Cox proportional hazards regression models we found that the strongest effects were observed in premenopausal women. For example, after accounting for disease stage and age, reported baseline consumption (times/day) of butter, margarine, and lard (risk ratio (RR)=1.67; 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.17-2.39) and beer (drinks/day) (RR=1.58; 95% CI=1.15-2.17) increased the risk of recurrence. There also appeared to be an increased risk associated with consumption of red meat, liver, and bacon, corresponding to about a doubling of risk for each time per day that foods in this category were consumed (RR=1.93; 95 % CI=0.89-4.15). Relative body weight increased risk at the rate of 9% (RR=1.09; 95% CI=1.02-1.17) for each kg/m2 (equivalent to about 5.8 pounds for a woman 5'4" tall). For death, the results were similar, but relative weight was more strongly associated, increasing risk by 12% per kg/m2 (RR=1.12; 95% CI=1.03-1.22).


Breast Cancer Res Treat. 1998 Sep;51(1):17-28.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Breast cancer research and treatment

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID